Birds of the Lagoon
A lagoon is a particularly rich biotope, a haven for a large number and a wide variety of waterfowl. Please do not disturb.
There are 7 types of swans and they are capable of flying at speeds of up to 50 km/h for extended periods of time. Swans are incredibly loyal and once they have paired off the swans remain mates for life. If a partner should die only a young bird would try to find a new partner, while older swans prefer to remain widowed for the rest of their lives.
The Black necked Swan
Hailing from the swamps of Patagonia, they make a striking waddling movement due to their ultra short legs. For camouflage purposes, the young ones are a uniform grey.
The Branta species, ducks and shelducks
The Red Breasted Goose
A resident of the Russian tundra, they searched for and found the ideal solution to protect their nests from harmful predators - by having the peregrine as a bneighbour
Their legs bend slightly backwards and as a result they waggle through life.
This looks bit like a wild duck, but with a long spoon-shaped beak, which it uses to take in water plants and small animals. Its nest is always located on dry parts near river and lake banks in the northern hemisphere.
The Mandarin Duck
Introduced from Asia during the eighteenth century, the most striking feature of this cute duck, worthy of being a piece of porcelain art, is its absolute monogamous lifestyle, in China and Japan, where it is even called the symbol of faithfulness.
Hunting and raids virtually wiped these animals from the face of the earth during the Thirties. Following the expansion of protected areas in its original habitat in North America and Cuba numbers were brought back to 1.3 million in 2008.
These ducks are always around water as they dive after their prey and it is fairly normal for a duck to spend up to 2 minutes under the water. They nest on the banks or on islands.
Black head, white cheeks and they can dive up to 9m deep!
These ducks are found in areas from Western Europe right up to the south-east of Russia and they are champion breeders, with 8 to 10 eggs per nest.
From Western Europe to NW China, the parade is a feast for the eyes as it starts in autumn or winter as the males court 1 female in a group, encircle and pursue her, even in flight.
Mi-canards, mi-cygnes: les dendrocygnes
Ils vivent dans les régions chaudes du globe. Question atterrissage, ils ne sont pas de grands spécialistes: il leur arrive m̻me de culbuter. Aussi préfèrent-ils se poser sur l'۪eau comme sur des skis. Vous en découvrirez de deux sortes à Pairi Daiza: les Dendrocygnes à ventre noir et à lunettes. A voir en visitant Mura Mura Territory.
They provide the South American Altiplano lakes with an additional charm, they are capable of adapting to extreme conditions, they can withstand night frost and even remain in frozen water until the morning frees them and daily temperature rapidly push up to 30°C. Their plumage is pastel pink, almost white or red, depending on the concentration of carotenoids in their food, which is a part of the armour of the miniscule crustaceans that form the bulk of their diet.
Like all pelicans they have beaks like a fishing net, capable of holding up to 2 kg of fish. The bill also serves as a serving plate as the young ones eat half digested food from it.
Pelicans mainly feed on fish, but they can also supplement that with birds, pigeons and ducks, which they swallow whole. A few males in Pairi Daiza escape every year for the annual reduction campaign. With the upward air currents of hot summer days they can take high flight and it is a magnificent sight to them fly in formation around the abbey tower and to see them circling.
There was no need to invite him, he came on his own. This agile bird from our region feeds on amphibians, small mammals, birds, fish, insects and crustaceans, all readily available in the waters at Pairi Daiza. This birds distinguishes itself from others in its manner of fishing and in flight. When fishing it shoots its bill out like a harpoon, and when in flight he folds it in two.
In Pairi Daiza they are particularly well represented, on the roof of the Cathedral aviary, on the roof of the gateway to the Great Depths and at the parking lot in the picnic areas. There are about 55 fertile couples living in Belgium, 10 to 15 of which live in Pairi Daiza. The adult birds have lost their migratory instinct due to supplements provided during winter months, but the younger ones (10 to 30) leave every year. Through of a natural protection instinct against blood relations and because of competition young ones never return to their region of birth.
Birds of the Lagoon in image
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