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Greater Flamingo image
Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

(Bird)

Greater Flamingo Baby
Greater Flamingo Baby

Greater Flamingo Habits

The greater flamingo is particular about its choice of habitat. It needs shallow, very salty lagoons and lakes in which to fed and breed successfully.
The flamingo dislikes disturbance, particularly at breeding times, and will often seek out larger expanses of water for solitude.
In winter, the northernmost colonies of greater flamingos in Asia will migrate south to the warmer coastal areas of Iran and India. Most other colonies will over winter if the weather stays mild. But these birds will move on if the weather turns bad.

Greater Flamingo Communication

Flamingo vocalizations range from nasal honking to grunting or growling. Flamingos are generally very noisy birds. Variations exist in the voices of different species of flamingos.
Vocalizations play an important role in keeping flocks together as well as in ritualized displays. Specific calls are used in conjunction with certain behaviors. They are also used in parent-chick recognition.

Greater Flamingo Breeding

The greater flamingo nests in colonies that often contain thousands of birds. Male and female birds build the nest together. The nest is a mound of mud, 12-20 inches in diameter, and, despite the circular trench the birds construct around it, the nest and egg are often destroyed by a rise in water level.
A single egg is incubated alternately by both parents for four weeks. The chick is fed on regurgitated liquid called crop-milk. It begins to feed itself after a month, although the parents continue to feed it as well. About this time the chick joins other young birds in a group called a creche, taking 10 weeks to fledge (grow feathers). Young birds are grayish brown in color and gradually become white and pink, They attain their full adult plumage at three to four years of age.

Greater Flamingo Food & Feeding

The flamingo filters food from the water, much like the blue whale. It uses its specially adapted bill to capture and filter its food, a combination of protozoa and algae as well as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects.
Its long legs enable the flamingo to wade through deep water and mud in search of food, and its long neck allows it to reach food at some depth. It can also swim easily and will partially submerge itself in order to feed.

Greater Flamingo Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: 4-5 feet. Wingspan: 55-65 inches
              Weight: 6-7 lbs
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: 2-3 years
             Mating: April-August
             Gestation: Incubation: 28-31 days. Fledging period: 70-75 days
             Number of young: Clutch size: 1, off-white color
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Sociable and diurnal
            Diet: Small invertebrates-insects, crustaceans, mollusks, worms
            Lifespan: Average 20 years in wild. Up to 50 years in captivity

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • What appear to by the flamingo's knees are actually its ankles, which bend backward when it sits down.
  • In ancient Rome, flamingo tongues were regarded as a delicacy. As recently as 30 years ago, flamingos and their eggs were eaten by people in parts of southern Europe and the Caribbean.
  • Many children came to know flamingos as the croquet mallets in Lewis Carroll's famous story, Alice in Wonderland.
  • Flamingos are monogamous birds that lay only a single egg each year. If that egg is lost or damaged, they do not typically lay a replacement.
  • Flamingo chicks are born gray or white and take up to three years to reach their mature pink, orange or red plumage.

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