Chilean Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, and Lesser Flamingo: what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between the Chilean Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, and Lessor Flamingo?

The Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis), Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus), and Lessor Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) are large wetland birds with S-shaped necks.

The Chilean Flamingo is from South America, and the Greater and Lesser Flamingo are from east and southern Africa. The Greater and Lesser Flamingo colonies often mix together.

The Chilean Flamingo has a pink body with darker pink wing feathers. The Greater Flamingo has a white or pale-pink body with black flight feathers. The Lesser Flamingo has a rose-pink to white body with black flight feathers.

Flamingo

Chilean Flamingo (left), Greater Flamingo (middle), and Lesser Flamingo (right)

The Chilean Flamingo has greyish legs with pink knees and joints. The Greater Flamingo has pale-pink legs with pink knees and joints. The Lesser Flamingo has dark-red legs.

The Chilean Flamingo’s beak is cream and black. The Greater Flamingo’s beak is pale-pink with a black tip. The Lesser Flamingo’s beak is all black.

The Chilean Flamingo grows to 110-130 centimetres (43-51 inches) tall. The Greater Flamingo grows to 145 centimetres (58 inches) tall. The Lesser Flamingo grows to about 90 centimetres (36 inches) tall. Therefore, the Greater Flamingo is the tallest of the three species.

Chilean Flamingo

Chilean Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo

Greater and Lesser Flamingo

Greater and Lesser Flamingo

Flamingo

Greater and Lesser Flamingo

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

 

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