Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flamingo Watching

While Ben stayed home and kept his knee elevated, I celebrated Fèt Drapo by paying some flamingos a visit in Trou Caiman. That first picture is of the leaky, unsteady boats that took us across a choppy lake. Though the boat ride was nothing short of scary, seeing these gorgeous birds in flight was well worthwhile. The Caiman Flamingo is supposed to be distinctive from other flamingos, but I'm not exactly sure how. See Sharon's account of our trip (slightly more descriptive than mine) here.

Status of the Greater Flamingo in Haiti

Although flamingos in Haiti can still be found in most areas of their historical range, survey results indicate that numbers have declined drastically over the last 50 years. The coastal mangrove lagoons between Grand Saline and Gonaives, the inland lakes of Etang Saumatre and Trou Caiman, and Ile de la Gonave have been, and remained, the major areas used by flamingos. The species has been extripated from areas with high human population densities (Ile a Vache, Les Cayes, and Cap-Haitien). No evidence of breeding activity was obtained. The last nesting colony known to occur in Haiti was reported in 1928. Available data suggest that Haiti is mostly utilized by flamingos for feeding and roosting during non-breeding, winter dispersal from Great Inagua, and perhaps Cuba. Flamingo numbers in Haiti are estimated at about 900 (+-600) birds. Population trends in Haiti are likely declining due to increasing human disturbance, habitat degradation, and exploitation for food and trade.

Full article here.

Jose A. Ottenwalder, Charles A. Woods, Galen B. Rathburn, John B. Thorbjarnarson. Colonial Waterbirds, Vol. 13, No. 2 (1990).

-posted by Lexi


Joanne said...

BEAUTIFUL pics! Also love the ones you posted from the Artisans... my fav is w the guy painting. Are you going to give Ben his camera back when he gets better? :)

HannahBG said...

Those birds are gorgeous! Are they distinctive because of their plumage? I've never seen flamingos with dark wing tips like that! Very cool...

So sorry to hear what happened to Ben's knee. :~( Praying for quick healing for him! Glad you're back together!

Lexi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ianandmonica said...

Amazing! I so want to go. Hope you are feeling better Ben.


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