If one weekend you feel the need to be in nature and see wildlife and you are in Dubai, I have a proposal for you. It is not close to the metro, so you will need a car. It is the Flamingo Sanctuary at the Ras Al Khor area. The sanctuary has shallow waters like mangroves that are great for these gorgeous birds, but watch out as there are more than just flamingos in Dubai. You can find many other species.
Mangroves are also a bit smelly sometimes specially when the weather is hot, just avoid the wind blowing your way if it is one of those days.
There are a pair of entrances to the sanctuary. Each of them will take you to a little house with a guard inside and plenty of pictures and info on the wildlife as posters. There are also some binoculars you can use. I took my camera and while they were busy, I used my own zoom to observe.
On the day we went, there was quite a lot of people. This and the fact that there are property development even taking over the mangrove area, made me think… it is true that everybody wants to be close to the little nature we have here but, where is the limit?. This for example, shouldn’t be allowed. Already the area is surrounded by an industrial area and plenty of roads with quite a lot of traffic. Do we really need to build right there? (This is a subliminal message to those nonexistent Dubai Urban planners).
Anyways, back to the flamingos… Did you know?
About their beak
Flamingos filter-feed their food ( shrimps and algae) with their beaks. They are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue. Only one of the jaws moves, the other is fixed.
About their pink
The pink color of flamingos comes from the betacarotenes in their diet. The more healthy, the pinkier.. and that is something the females take into account when mating. Who says guys can not wear pink now, eh??
About their size
They can measure from 80 cms to 1.40 cms.. they are BIG! and for some reason they like to stand on one leg only..who knows why.
About their name
They say it comes from their color… like of a “flame”.
And now some pics to show you my visit!!
Lots of luv,