Flamingoes in Mumbai | Twitter | ANI
Text Size:

New Delhi: It’s a visual treat for Mumbai these days with thousands of migratory flamingoes painting the city pink.

Despite a delay in their annual migration to wetlands in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) this year, the birds have come visiting with record high numbers.

The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) said there has been a 25 per cent increase in flamingo migration since 2019, when 1.2 lakh birds had come visiting. This year, over 1.5 lakh birds were spotted in the first week of April itself.

The society attributed this increase to lower human activity in areas such as Sewri, Thane Creek and the Talawe wetlands, comprising the NRI Complex, Seawoods and TS Chanakya in Navi Mumbai.

These areas would normally see a lot of construction work and human activity but the nationwide lockdown has created ideal conditions for the flamingoes to forage in the wetlands around these places.

Deepak Apte, director of BNHS, said the lockdown has given flamingoes a moment of peace and quiet to roost without disturbance. “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,” he explained.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


The spike in the number of migratory flamingoes last year, from the usual 30,000-40,000 to 1.2 lakh, was attributed to an increase in sewage output and industrial runoff, which caused an increase of blue-green algae that these birds feed on.

Also read: Work on longest sea link in Mumbai has had little impact on flamingos, say officials

‘Nature doing her duty’

Actors like Dia Mirza, Raveena Tandon and Twinkle Khanna shared photos of the migratory birds on social media.

‘Iconic’ flamingoes

Out of the six flamingo species found in the world, the greater flamingo (taller, with a black-tipped pink bill) and the near-threatened lesser flamingo (shorter, with a dark crimson bill) are found in India.

A BNHS study has found that the number of lesser flamingoes are on the rise in India while the number of greater flamingoes are declining.

Flamingoes are considered iconic in Mumbai. Since the 1980s, flocks of 30,000-40,000 of the bird have been settling along the Thane Creek between September and April.

These birds arrive in the city from the north-west part of India, from Kutch in Gujarat and Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. A smaller number of the birds are believed to fly in from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Israel.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region is said to be the the second-largest flamingo habitat along the west coast after Kutch, according to BNHS, which began its first formal survey of flamingos in the Thane Creek in 2018 as part of a 10-year study of wading birds.

Also read: Media rumours and vicious RWAs have been worst for animals during Covid: Maneka Gandhi



Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here