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Greater Flamingo

(Image Source)
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Aves
Order : Phoenicopteriformes
Family : Phoenicopteridae
Genus : Phoenicopterus
Species : roseus

Height : 43-60in (110-150cm)
Weight : 4.5-9lbs (2-4kg)

IUCN Status : Least Concern

The Greater Flamingo is both the largest, and the most widespread of all the Flamingo species. They are found in wetland parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, living in large colonies that can number as many as 200,000 birds. These colonies can be so large that breeding pairs develop special calls just so they can locate each other.

(Image Source)
Because they are taller than other flamingo species, Greater Flamingos are able to move into deeper water in search of food. They wade about, stirring up the water with their feet before collecting it into their beaks and siphoning it through filters in their mouth. Greater Flamingos feed on small invertebrates, as well as vegetation.

Greater Flamingo nests are pretty weird looking. They pile up mud and make in indentation in the top for the single egg laid. These eggs hatch after about a month, and within a week the chicks join a Creche with other young Flamingos. Chicks return to the nest to be fed via regurgitation, and parents and chicks are able to find each other based on their calls. Greater Flamingos mate for life.

Greater Flamingos are quite long lived. They often don't breed till they are round 10 years old, and can live as long as 40 years in the wild. One Flamingo from the Adelaide Zoo has lived at least 75 years.


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