The Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) is a large bird from east and southern Africa.
The Lesser Flamingo has a rose-pink to white body with black flight feathers. It has dark-red legs. Its downward-curved beak is all black. Its neck is long and S-shaped.
It grows to about 90 centimetres (36 inches) tall.
The Lesser 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 can be found on freshwater and saltier lakes.
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 Lesser 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