LAKE NATRON and LESSER FLAMINGOS
Let's get to know more about the bright red LAKE NATRON being an important breeding ground to beautiful Lessen Flamingos.
Nature, animals and literally all our surroundings are always full of surprises. For example, I did not know about Lake Natron and the Lessen Flamingos until I watched David Attenborough's "The Perfect Planet" on BBC.
Yes, in deed we have to remind us every minute, every day that we are part of a perfect planet.
Lake Natron lies at the boarder of Kenya and Tanzania and is an amazing destination to bird watchers as millions of flamingoes spread across the entire lake forming a pink skyline to the horizons.
The microbiology of the lake is dominated by salt-loving organisms such as spirulina, a form of blue-green algae whose red pigments make the salt-encrusted flats in the centre of the lake look bright red when seen from the air.
Spirulina sometimes gives Lake Natron a pink colour. It grows only in salty lakes like Lake Natron which is known as a soda lake because of its high concentration of sodium carbonate.
Natron is also the only known breeding ground for East Africa’s 2.5 million Lesser Flamingos, which usually congregate there between August and October, feeding on the abundant algae (whose pigments are responsible for the birds’ trademark pink hue).
The Lesser Flamingo is about 3 feet tall and weighs only about 4 pounds. They are full grown in about 2 years and the males are usually much taller than the females. They tend to be light pink and white in color due to the types of food that they consume. It is rare that you will see them with very much red or orange coloring. They also have black tips of their feathers that you may not be able to see unless they have them opened up. Flamingos live until they are about 40 years old, but only breed every five or six years.
Other than serving as a breeding area for the endangered Lesser Flamingo and as a home to certain kinds of algae and bacteria, Lake Natron is inhospitable to life. Blood-red from the bacteria that live in it, the salt lake is steaming hot, with temperatures that can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
To learn more about Lake Natron and the Lesser Flamingos please watch;
David Attenborough's - THE PERFECT PLANET