Unknown Author, Courtesy of Dushy Perera (a periodic migrant to Mannar)
We had eagerly awaited this moment. It was a little after sunrise on the Thirukketheecharam Temple road and the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. We hurriedly got off our vehicles and started walking towards the mud flats and to our unbelief they were there. Our cameras clicked from a distance not knowing how long we would continue to see them. But they didn’t disappoint us and we moved closer and closer to them. There were nearly 200 of them.
It was a sight to behold. My mind took me to William Wordsworth’s Daffodils.
“I gazed and gazed but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.”
Fun Facts about Flamingos
- The word Flamingo comes from the Spanish and Latin word ‘ flamenco ‘ which means fire, it refers to the bright colours of the bird’s feathers.
- Flamingo chicks are born grey when hatched.
- Flamingos pink colour is obtained from its diet.
They feed in shallow bodies of water and help in maintaining the ecosystem. Actually they can teach us a thing or two about healthy eating, specially about consuming powerful antioxidants.
Birds found in Sri Lanka are believed to breed in the Rann of Kutch , India.
Over the Windmills
As we see these majestic birds fly away over the windmills we wonder what their future and ours will be. There is always a cost to development. But will this be too much for us to sustain is left to be seen.
All migratory birds including the Flamingos may be at risk. We are already witnessing a reduction in their numbers and a change in their patterns.