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The Flamingos of Lake Nakuru

June 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133

There are various species of flamingos around the world; these include the American flamingo, the greater flamingo, the Chilean flamingo and the lesser flamingo. The lesser flamingo is the species that is mainly found in Kenya in the Great Rift Valley region. The birds are found on the shores of the famous Lake Nakuru in Lake Nakuru National park.

The lesser flamingo is characterized by bright white and pink colored feathers and a strong beak with a black tip.

The lake is alkaline in nature due to the fact that it has no outlet. The alkalinity together with the droppings from the flamingos promotes the growth of blue-green algae. The flamingos mainly feed on the blue-green algae. They feed with their beaks positioned upside down as they hold their breath under water. Their beaks are well adapted for sifting mud and water and retaining the algae, tiny fish, shrimps and planktons which form part of their meal. The webbed feet of the flamingos allow them to stir up shrimps, algae and planktons from the mud at the bottom of the lake.

Flamingos rest with their feet tucked beneath their body, however a most common view is that of a flamingo standing on one leg. In the latter position, they are a magnificent view as they are seen swaying back and forth in the wind. With their webbed feet, they are able to wade in muddy waters in search of food; on the other hand, in much deeper waters where they cannot wade, they can be seen floating on the surface of the water and moving in the direction of the wind.

Though flamingos are non-migratory birds, they can shift to different locations due to weather and Lake water-level changes, these changes lead to diminished levels of algae in the lake. The flamingos of Lake Nakuru are known to move to Lake Bogoria, Lake Elementaita and Lake Oloiden when such changes occur. At Lake Bogoria, the flamingos are a guaranteed spectacle to behold. The three lakes are located within the Great Rift Valley, a few kilometers from Nakuru town.

Apart from flamingos, other bird species that inhabit the lake and its surroundings are the pelicans, cormorants, grebes, Goliath heron, fish eagle, and kingfisher. The Goliath heron is known to prey on the flamingos thus their tendency to live in large numbers or colonies.

In order to view the flamingos well, it is advisable to have a full days trip or two to the lake. Camping sites and lodges are available near lake Nakuru. Other wildlife found near the lake include black rhinos, Rothschild giraffe and water bucks.

Peter Gatere To know more about flamingos visit our face book fan page at and post your comments, inquiries and any other additional information.

Source: EzineArticles
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