Lesser Flamingo

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Common Name: Lesser Flamingo
Scientific Name: Phoenicopterus minor

Size: 39 inches (99 cm)

Habitat: Africa and Asia; Found in Africa (Great Rift Valley) to Northwest India. Its preferred habitat is shallow, salty lagoons and lakes.

Status: Near Threatened. Global population: Unknown. Scientists have discovered that flamingos are dying by the thousands along the Great Rift Valley lakes of Kenya and Tanzania. However, they are baffled as to the reason. Possible causes include avian cholera, botulism, metal pollution, pesticides or poisonous bacteria, say researchers. Also, fears for the future of this species have been raised by plans to pipe water from one of their key breeding areas, the shores of Lake Natron. The lakes are crucial to the birds' breeding success because the flamingos feed off the blooms of cyanobacteria that thrive there.

Diet: Blue-green algae (Spirulina spp., Oscillatoria spp. and Lyngbya spp.) and diatoms (Navicula spp., Bacillariophyceae). To a lesser extent the species will also take small aquatic invertebrates such as rotifers (Brachiomus spp).

Nesting: It breeds in huge colonies of many thousands of pairs on large, undisturbed alkaline and saline lakes or coastal lagoons, usually far out from the shore. The timing of breeding varies geographically and pairs may not breed every year. It is adapted to respond to local environmental changes in sites by moving elsewhere, and thus depends on a network of suitable areas.

Cool Facts: The Lesser Flamingo is the most numerous Flamingo in the world. Lesser flamingos eat an estimated 60 g (2.1 oz.) dry weight to fulfill their daily food requirements. Through slow-motion photography, researchers discovered that these birds pump water through their bills 20 times a second to filter their food.


Found in Songbird Remix Flamingos

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