THE PARC ORNITHOLOGIC
The Camargue is the only location in Europe where pink
flamingos may be found year around. The pink legs indicate a mature adult.
Finally, there are the birds. Our favorite birding
excursion was to the Parc Ornithologic, a private endeavor of citizen
The Parc is certified as a privately funded raptor rehab
there are a number of raptors and protected species that may not be be easily
seen in the wild.
M. Lamoroux has developed extensive interpretive displays, including one that explains the flamingo’s upside down
beak, which allows it to filter feed even when water is very shallow. Another
leg structure…the flamingo actually walks on it’s toes, its " backward knee" is really the ankle
and the real knee is hidden inside its body.
We especially enjoyed seeing rare European chimney storks and
spoon-billed ibis who, though entirely wild, chose to build their nests on top
of cages of injured birds. The storks have no voice, thus clack their beaks to
Developed trails and overlooks which loop throughout
the marsh provide outstanding opportunities to for over 120,000 visitors per
year to discover lizards, nutria (controlled by heavy winter kills),
reptiles and 4-500 species of birds. The odor of rotting
vegetation wafts through the swamp--it smells a lot like rotting eggs!
STEAMBOATIN' in the Camargue
River buffs will enjoy a cruise on the KON TIKI. It
claims to be the last authentic sternwheeler in France and provides an
excellent opportunity to cruise the quite water of the Petit Rhone.
Board the boat at the marina near Stes Maries de la Mer, right where the
Petit Rhone empties into the sea. It was disconcerting to board a
familiar looking steamboat in the great swells of the ocean! We saw
bulls and horses, waterfowl, guardians as we left the ocean and paddled
smoothly upriver at about 6 km/hour. Look for the tamarisk, a type of
tamarack tree that looses its needles.
Continue, Conclusion and Travel
Info for the Camargue/Provence Region of S. France
Part 5 of 5