Tag Archives: Birds

Flamingos

The grey feathers of flamingos turn pink in the wild because of a natural pink dye they obtain when feeding on shrimp and blue-green algae. The wetlands and lagoons in Bonaire provide a rich amount of food for these animals.

In the bird rehab in the South of Bonaire we saw the younger flamingos kept there to have grey feathers. The Mangrove Info Center opened the Wild Bird Rehab as a bird sanctuatry to provide a home for the island’s sick or injured birds.

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Mangrove Swamp

Spanish Water is a sheltered lagoon in Curacao surrounded by mangroves, a carribbean “hurrican hole”. Orincoco is stationed there this summer. Many small mangrove trees, growing in brackish water, are nearby. It is easy to spot a lot of animals there, including Brown Pelicans, Snowy Egrets (Silberreiher). They are resting there after a day of hunting. Bare eyed pigeons (Nacktaugentaube) are also common.

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Atlantic Ocean Wildlife

We did again encounter bottlenose dolphins (Tümmler) – a school of thirty or more followed us for half an hour.  Only few species of birds visit the sailor on the open ocean, a hundred miles or more away from land. One of those are Cory’s Shearwater (Puffinus diomedea, Sepiasturmtaucher). They breed on land, but live on the ocean. As in North France, Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus, Basstölpel) occasionally showed up. By the way, it was a brilliant passage from Rabat, Morocco to the Canary Islands. Good winds, moderate atlantic swell and four dark nights without moon, but with a clear sky and the milky way.dolphin-7968-3

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Cory’s Shearwater (Puffinus diomedea, Sepiasturmtaucher):Sepiasturmtaucher-8342

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Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus, Basstölpel):basstölpel-8195basstölpel-8203

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How to swallow a fish?

See gulls do not only follow fishing boats looking for the left overs (link), but they also know how to catch their own fish. This yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöve), observed in Rabat, however, encountered a problem. It caught a rather large fish. Fish should be swallowed head first always.

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Cormorants

Cormorants (Kormorane) are fish-eaters and excellent divers, some have been found to dive as deep as 45 metres. They have relatively short wings due to their need for economical movement underwater, and consequently have the highest flight costs of any flying bird. These were observed at the Islands of Cies, National Park Galicia, but they range around the world, except for the central Pacific islands. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant)

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