FLAMINGOS at the Fuente de Piedra Lagoon begin their breeding season
Thousands of flamingos flocked to the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra Nature Reserve in March until the breeding colony reached 7,585 birds at the end of the month, according to the territorial delegate for Sustainable Development, Jose Antonio Viquez. On March 20, the couples began nesting on the Senra Island, a sure sign that they are ready to start breeding.
“Most of [the birds] are scattered, feeding in the lagoon, although on the breeding island 2,500 flamingos are located, which have formed 1,200 breeding pairs,” Mr Viquez told Spanish daily MalagaHoy.
Mr Víquez added that “in these days there is great courtship activity and visits of new pairs on the breeding island, which suggests, if the expected spring rains occur, that the incorporation of more pairs on the breeding territory will continue”.
The anticipated spring rains are very important for flamingos as the rising water level creates islands where the birds feel safe enough to breed and hatch their young. Although the water level is lower than last year at 35 centimetres, the expert insists that this is “considered by the first pairs of flamingos as sufficient to start reproducing in the lagoon, since with this water level, the birds have islands in this Natural Reserve where they can establish their breeding colonies safe from any type of nuisance, as well as the availability of food, mainly zooplankton, during the laying and incubation phase.”
The ‘Flamingo Banding Program’ run by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Junta de Andalucía is responsible for keeping a close eye on the flamingo colony at the Fuente de Piedra Lagoon, which is one of the most important wetlands for the reproduction of the population of the species in the Mediterranean and North Africa.