The ‘greater’ side of Lefkas


What started off as a young boy’s fascination grew into a valuable contribution to science and an immense passion for photography. Chris Stavrakas has spent hours studying the flamingoes in the lagoon of Lefkada, a wetland included in the Natura 2000 network. Patiently waiting and returning to the same spot, he studied the colours in their wings, listened to their distinctive calls and looked out for behavioural patterns, trying to figure out how they think, behave and perceive things around them.

These ‘Greater Flamingos’, one of the six species of flamingos, spend around five months a year on the beautiful Greek island of Lefkas. They predominantly originate from Africa and start their migration from the beginning of October, looking for a rainier winter. Did you know that they can drink water at almost boiling temperature and that they sleep standing on one foot in shifts, while the others keep a look out? These are some of the most elegant and distinctive birds of the wetlands as their feathers boast different shades of orange and pink. This is caused by a natural ‘pink dye’ that they obtain from eating brine shrimp and blue-green algae.

If you wish to know more you can read this article, have a look at Chris’ Instagram or visit Lefkas to observe the real thing…

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