Quite the oddity was spotted in Israel. A melanistic flamingo.
Don Presser, 70, photographed what he said could be the “one and only black flamingo in the world” on a trip to Eilat, Israel, in February. Presser sent the image to Monterey County bird experts who identified it as a rare melanistic Greater Flamingo.
Other photographs of a darkly-hued flamingo in Eilat first appeared on birding websites last spring, and some sites also claimed the bird is one of a kind. It’s unclear if what Presser saw is the same bird.
Presser, who owns FourWinds Travel in Carmel, traveled to Eilat in the southern deserts of Israel hoping to photograph snakes, but cold, rainy weather ruined any chance of that, he said. But he loves taking pictures of all critters, he said, and noticed a stand of flamingos wading in a salt pond. The black-feathered beauty stood out and Presser asked his tour guide about the animal.
The bird experts at the San Diego Zoo have heard reports of the darkly colored flamingos but had never seen one. The odds of a melanistic flamingo are very low, rare but obviously not impossible. Or was it dyed?