Thousands Of Flamingos Turned Mumbai Pink While Everyone Self-Isolates

Given the current pandemic that we are all living through, the world is seeing many of us stuck indoors due to lockdown measures. As a result of the lockdown, nature is taking a chance to do a little bit of restoration of its own – now that humanity is stuck indoors. We’ve seen the pictures of wildlife all over the globe traversing back into spaces normally occupied by people, and the latest pictures to make an impression are of flamingos.

All across the Indian city of Mumbai, stunning pink flamingos are taking to the city’s waters in hoards. Many believe that the reduction in fishing, as well as construction work, have allowed the birds to return to more favorable conditions for roosting and hunting.

The Science Times speculates that while flamingos have been spotted throughout Mumbai since the 1980s where they migrate between October and March for breeding and feeding, their populations are believed to have increased with the pandemic as huge numbers were caught on camera in the mudflats of Thane Creek.

Locals themselves have also reported huge sightings of the animals as many shared their own pictures across social media of the pink and white birds in the lakes.

As one resident of the Sunil Agarwal city shared to the Hindustan Times, “Residents are cooped up at home spending their mornings and evenings at their balconies taking photographs and videos of these relaxed birds. The lockdown will at least prompt people to focus on what is around them, which they had been taking for granted, and hopefully this site will be declared a flamingo sanctuary soon.”

As the Bombay Natural History Society estimates, there is about a 25% increase in the flamingo population as compared to last year. It is thought that 150,000 flamingos have journeyed to Mumbai in 2020.

Many different areas of the Thane Creek flamingo sanctuary have also noted increases of flamingos in the region as compared to when there are humans out and about. It is also thought that another reason for the birds’ increased numbers could be a result of the breeding season that took place two years ago.

As the director for the BNHS, Deepak Apte, shared with the media outlet, “A major reason for the large numbers is also the large flocks of juveniles moving to these sites, following the successful breeding documented two years ago. Additionally, the lockdown is giving these birds peace for roosting, no disturbance in their attempt to obtain food, and overall encouraging habitat.”

Apte also added that “Wetland destruction and developmental activities across several areas of the eastern seafront is another reason why larger bird numbers are getting squeezed into smaller pockets like in Navi Mumbai.”

Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.

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