Fauna and Flora Friday: 2 October 2020 – Greater Flamingo

Good day everyone,

Today I would like to give you some titbits on The Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus.

The Greater Flamingo is the biggest of the two Africa-Flamingos. It has a very long neck and legs. When they are on the ground, they appear to be all white. In-flight bright pink salmon colored coverts are visible and contrast with the black flight feathers of the wings. Their face and bill is light pink with a broad black pointed beak and turned sharply downwards after about two-thirds of its length. It has pink legs.

The juvenile Flamingo is a light grayish-brown and becomes lighter as they grow older. Its bill is light gray with a dark point. The eyes are brown and, its legs are dark gray.

They’re found, at large bodies of shallow water, such as lakes, dams, estuaries, and salt pans. They prefer water that is slightly saline, hence their preference for inland lakes without much drainage.

Greater Flamingos are highly nomadic birds and, their presence usually depends on suitable water conditions. Usually, they are seen in large flocks, wading slowing through shallow water and sometimes seen swimming in deeper water. Using its feet, the bird stirs up the mud, then sucks water through its bill and filters out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms, and mollusks. The Greater Flamingo feeds with its head down, and its upper jaw is movable and not rigidly fixed to its skull.

The Greater Flamingo are very sociable birds and will not breed unless in large numbers. The flamingos have a unique communal display, consisting of flapping, posturing, preening, and making quite a bit of noise. Flamingos perform spectacular group courtship displays, involving synchronized wing-raising, ritualized preening, and ‘head-flagging’ raising the neck and beak and turning the head from side to side.

They only lay one egg at a time on a mud mound. The chick usually hatches after 27 to 31 days.

I got the above information from different sources. Wikipedia, SA Venues and Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan

Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my work.
Till next time, stay safe and healthy.


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