Kenya’s Lake Bogoria is a saline, alkaline lake that contains blue-green algae called spirulina. The cyanobacteria is a primary food source of sub-Saharan Africa’s lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor), one of six flamingo species around the globe. The lesser flamingos gather in massive swarms, numbering in the millions, though they may be most memorable for their dark bills and red eyes. The BBC clip above shares more from the scene.
More about their environment from AnimalDiversity.org at University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology:
The alkaline or saline lakes contain high levels of sodium and potassium salts as well as the presence of calcium and magnesium ions. Based on a study done by Vareschi (1978), lesser flamingos are commonly found at four alkaline lakes, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita, Lake Bogoria, and Lake Natron in Kenya. Lesser flamingos are frequently located in the shallow areas of the lakes and mudflats. They are very responsive to changes in their environment such as any fluctuations in physical or chemical variables. These variables can include changes in the conductivity of the water. Conductivity is measured by the concentration of salts and ions in the water. The amount of rainfall influences conductivity. When there is an increase in rainfall, the lake levels rise which leads to a rise in conductivity. Changes in food quantity also influences the movement of the lesser flamingos. Vareschi (1978) found that flamingo movements are triggered by the concentration of algae. As a result of these changes, lesser flamingos can travel up to 450km a day to find a suitable living environment.
Watch this video next: How do flamingos become pink?Related: The Grand Prismatic Spring: One of Nature’s Most Amazing Sights and why is Lake Hillier pink?
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