This black flamingo, discovered in Cyprus recently, wouldn’t look out of place in a Camden nightclub. These gothic pretensions aren’t a fashion statement however, they’re actually a result of a genetic condition that causes the flamingo to generate excessive levels of melanin (which is a type of pigment).
The genetic condition, that causes this type of darkened plumage, is called melanism. It’s more often seen in ducks and hawks, but has only been witnessed in this species twice before. Once, in Israel in 2013. And, now, this time in Cyprus.
Conservationists have suggested that, due to the two countries relative proximity to each other, flamingoes ability to travel large distances, and the rarity of such a mutation, it might simply be the exact same bird spotted on two separate occasions.
“This black flamingo, discovered in Cyprus recently, wouldn’t look out of place in a Camden nightclub.”Melanism can help birds blend into their environment, which is really useful when you’re constantly being forced to play hide and seek with predators. However, adult flamingoes don’t have many enemies in the area so it would seem like the black flamingo doesn’t have anything to worry about on that score.
Sadly, for the flamingo, it would seem that the goth-look isn’t really a goer when it comes to attracting a mate. Felicity Arengo, a conservationist at the American Museum of Natural History, who has observed the animal first-hand, said that the flamingo might have difficulty attracting a partner with it’s unusual plumage.
Arengo told sources that “…flamingoes use pigment from their glands as makeup to enhance (rosy) coloration.” In other words, they use cosmetic products to bag themselves a lover. Unfortunately, for the black flamingo, Arengo was unable to confirm whether pink flamingoes are into the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees.