One of the most beautiful sites ever is watching animals and and birds in their natural habitat, exactly how nature intended. Watching flamingos is one of the most beautiful sites I have been lucky enough to witness in Portugal. If you fancy a peaceful day, being at one with nature, try these natural beauty spots for size.
When to Find Greater Flamingos in the Algarve?
In small numbers they can actually be found year-round but, the general advice is the best time to spot them is between November to March. The images accompanying this article were taken on the 21st of September and there were several large flocks so it’s not too difficult to find them outside of this time frame but, in some cases, there’s an element of luck.
The Natural Habitat of Flamingos in the Algarve
The best place to find them is in many of the Algarve’s lagoons and wetland systems where they can be found foraging in large groups. The greater flamingo forages in mudflats and shallow lagoons with salt water. Using their feet and distinctive long legs, the flamingo kicks up the mud in the shallow water, then sucks up the muddy soup through its bill. Its bill is heavily specialized, and it uses it to filter out small shrimp, mollusks, seeds, blue-green algae, and other microscopic organisms. You’ll be able to find them foraging in this distinctive method with an upturned head in several locations across the Algarve.
Where to Find Flamingos in the Algarve?
With the Ria Formosa being the most famous and the biggest lagoon in the Algarve, there’s lots of opportunity to find flamingos. Naturally, the biggest towns have the widest selection of tours with Faro, Tavira and Olhão all getting a worthy mention. Many of these tour operators will get you up.
Why Aren’t all Flamingos Pink?
Not all Flamingos are pink, and why would that be…its a rather simple answer really, for flamingos the phrase “you are what you eat” is quite effective, in Portugal the consumption of shrimp is large in number, so when it comes to flamingos there not so lucky to eat shrimps, therefore they don’t get that red-orange pigment which comes from beta carotene, carotenoids give vegetables such as carrots, apricots a reddish color, subsequently, flamingos end up white or pale, which is also a sign of malnourished or unhealthy.
Text Credit: Dawn Annandale