Wolfgang Praegler & Gudrun Mirbach-Praegler
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Photos of the Week
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Flamingos on the Momella Lakes
     The   Momella   Lakes   are   part   of   the Arusha   National   Park,   some   kilometers   northeast   of Arusha   in   northern Tanzania. There are   7   lakes;   all   of   them   hold   alkaline   water   due   to   the   volcanic   underground.   Here   we   can   see   great   numbers   of   flamingos   all year   round.   This   number   increases   remarkably   during   the   end   of   the   dry   season,   end   of   September/beginning   of   October, when   all   other   resources   of   water   have   fallen   dry.   Then   the   whole   surface   of   the   Momella   Lakes   is   covered   with   flamingos. The   majority   of   them   are   Lesser   Flamingos,   and   in   spite   of   this   name   these   birds   reach   a   standing   height   of   1m.   With   the specially formed bill they filter the water for tiny food items like plankton and algae. They may reach an age of 50 years.
A Lesser Flamingo is standing at the bank of a Momella Lake. One of the Momella Lakes. Groups of flamingos are standing in the water. The muddy banks of the lakes are also covered with flamingos. Flamingos, mirrored in the water. Flamingos, standing densely crammed. Some of them are resting. A group of flamingos, aligned in a nearly military formation. With the bill upside down the birds filter the water. The flamingos feed on plankton and minor organisms. Lesser Flamingos take their food out of the upper layers of water. At the age of 3 to 4 years, the feathering of the juvenile flamingos finally turns reddish. Before starting to fly, a flamingo is running on the water. It may take up to 50m of running on the water before the flamingo has reached enough speed to take off. The flamingo is running faster and faster. Now the bird has reached the necessary speed to take off: The bird is airborne. Groups of flamingos fly from one end of a lake to the other side. Bright red legs, reddish plumage, the bill different shades of red with a black tip, and shiny red eyes.