Photo: Oleksandr Nastachenko
Pink flamingos, birds by far not common for Ukraine, produced offspring in the country’s southern-lying Kherson Oblast.
In June 2017, local hunters saw the birds. After amateur ornithologist Oleksandr Nastachenko heard about this, he took his friends and came to see flamingos by himself.
“We found 13 nests and 3 flamingo squeakers,” said the ornithologist. He recognized the nests of this kind of birds by their specific appearance:
“They have long legs, so it’s comfortable for them to have only this form of nests. Also as a colonial species, flamingos always create nests near each other.”
The pink flamingo is an endangered species. Usually, flamingoes live in Asia, Africa, Central and South America. Sometimes they are also found in south Europe and Asia and on Madagascar. They nest near salty lakes, estuaries, lagoons.
Flamingos have been noticed in Ukraine before. In 1935 – in Kharkiv Oblast and Crimea. In 1953 – in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, in 1963 – in Ternopil Oblast. However, they were either single birds or couples. But this is the first time that the pink birds had nested in Ukraine.
Nastachenko does not reveal the place of the nests in order to protect the birds.
Leonid Gorobets, ornithologist of the Department of Ecology and Zoology of Kyiv National Shevchenko University says that flamingos could have nested in Ukraine hundreds of years ago. Their coming now is not coincidental: he connects it to climate change. The scientist expects that the birds will spend the autumn in Ukraine and will fly to other countries for the winter.