Rare black Flamingo spotted at salt lake in Cyprus

A black Flamingo – one of the few ever observed by humans – was seen this week on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus.

A rare black flamingo spotted in Cyprus this week

A rare black flamingo spotted in Cyprus this week Image by Clyde Robinson / CC BY 2.0

The bird which appeared alongside a pink Flamingo feeding on the banks of a salt lake is understood to have a genetic condition called melanism.

Flamingoes normally have pink plumage

Flamingoes normally have pink plumage Image by Alex Roberts / CC BY 2.0

The International Business Times reports that this causes it to produce more melanin which turns it black rather than the usual pink colour.

The head of the environmental department of the British Sovereign Bases, Pantelis Charilaou, recalled the surprise in seeing the black-colouref flamingo among the flock.

He said that a melanistic individual was a very rare sighting. It was the opposite to an albino, he explained.

The Cypriot bird-sighting occurred during a flamingo count at the Akrotiri environmental centre on the southern coast of Cyprus.

Experts believe this flamingo could be the same one that was spotted in Israel last year. An estimated 20,000 greater flamingos descend on Akrotiri salt lake each year.

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