Pinkish hues

They were everywhere, hundreds of them, swarming in the waters nearby. Most of them had their necks down, busy hunting for food. But ever so soon, one would flap open the wings and soar the skies. Oh! what a sight it was to see the full wingspan, the black contrasting against the layers of white and pink.

Photo credit: National Geographic Kids

We were at the Sewri jetty to spot flamingos. These migratory birds make Mumbai their home for six months every year, yet it had taken us so many years to actually go see them. Nevertheless, there was so much to learn. It is commonly known that the greater flamingos have longer necks and are whitish compared to the lesser flamingos. But did you know that they are born with grey feathers but acquire the pinkish hues due to their diet of shrimp (greater flamingos) and algae (lesser flamingos)? Another interesting titbit learnt is that apparently during the mating season, they engage in a kind of synchronised dance to find a partner most attuned to them and that they are serial monogamists.  Even if you are not into birding, that’s just interesting to know.

So head over to the jetty during the low tide to say hello to these visitors sometime. It’s a quiet spot to just laze around and forget the city woes too.

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