The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) is a large bird from east and southern Africa.
The Greater Flamingo has a white or pale-pink body with black flight feathers. It has pale-pink legs with pink knees and joints. Its downward-curved beak is pale-pink with a black tip. Its neck is long and S-shaped.
It grows to 145 centimetres (58 inches) tall.
The Greater Flamingo is from east Africa, from Ethiopia to Tanzania, and from southern Africa. It is a wetlands bird, living near calm-water lakes, lagoons, mudflats, estuaries, and ponds.
It feeds on algae and plankton, and also shrimp, insects, and snails. Its beak has comb-like structures (instead of teeth, because birds don’t have teeth) that enable it to filter food from the water.
The Greater flamingo lives in large flocks. Females lay a single white egg in a mud nest, which males and females build together. Both males and females sit on the egg (incubate it) until it hatches.
The chick has grey feathers, and does not gain the pink adult colour for 2-3 years. Both male and female flamingoes produce a nutritious milk-like substance in their crop gland to feed the chick.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM