Getting to Know… the Flamingo

A visit to Larnaka during the colder months is not complete without a trip to the salt lake to see the majestic Greater Flamingo, which also happens to be the town’s mascot! Everyone knows that flamingos are a distinctive pink colour and have long legs, but there is more to our feathered friend that you may not know…

The name ‘flamingo’ comes from the Latin word ‘flamma’ meaning ‘flame’, thanks to the species’ colour, which ranges from pink to orange. Flamingos are migrating birds that travel long distances at a speed of up to 35 miles per hour in a flock, colony or flamboyance. They are highly adaptable, choosing a variety of habitats and can live up to 20-30 years, feeding on algae, insects, shrimps and molluscs. The Greater Flamingos at the salt lake feed on brine shrimp that multiply in the lake when there is sufficient water, and are the tallest of their species, reaching five feet tall.

Flamingos sleep on one leg to conserve energy and maintain their body temperature and have 19 bones in their long necks. They are also monogamous, with mummy and daddy flamingo sharing parental responsibilities.

Finally, if you do visit the salt lake, you may hear their distinctive honking sound, which helps to keep the flock together, as well as providing a pleasant soundtrack to your walk!

Salt Lake