Birdorable Greater Flamingo

The Greater Flamingo

December 7th, 2008 in Flamingos, New Birds 2 comments
Birdorable Greater Flamingo

We've added the Greater Flamingo to Birdorable. It is our 153rd bird. This species of flamingo can be found across Africa, southern Europe and southern Asia. You'll most likely find them in large groups feeding in shallow water in which they use their feet to stir up the bottom. They then stick their heads underwater and suck up both mud and water to filter out the yummy algae, crustaceans, and mollusks. Their unique large beaks allows them to filter food from the water.

Greater Flamingo by Bernard DUPONT
Photo by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Did you know that flamingos get their bright pink color from their diet? It's true! The pink shrimps that they eat give them their unique color. In fact, captive flamingos in zoos get paler when they don't get supplement food that contains these natural pigments. Young ones are born white and gray and it takes two years before they turn pink. Isn't that cute?

Birdorable Greater Flamingo

Another thing that a baby flamingo has to grow into is its large beak. Chicks are born with a straight bill and it starts to curve after about one month. They can filter feed properly at two and a half months and will be fully grown after two years. These birds can get up to 30 years of age in the wild, but the oldest known Greater Flamingo is in Adelaide Zoo in Australia and is thought to be at least 75 years old. It was brought into the zoo in 1933. Here it is on a video. Looking good for a 75-year-old flamingo!


Here are some more photos of this beautiful bird:

Greater Flamingos
Greater Flamingos by David Brossard (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Phoenicopterus roseus
Phoenicopterus roseus by Christian Ferrer (CC BY 2.0)
Greater Flamingos by Giuseppe Calsamiglia (CC BY-ND 2.0)