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Lesser Flamingo | Phoenicopterus minor

The Lesser Flamingo is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phoenicopteridae bird family group which includes birds such as Wood-hoopoes.

The description for the Lesser Flamingo (Latin name Phoenicopterus minor) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phoenicopterus minor can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 97 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 606. You will find a picture of the Lesser Flamingo on page 576.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Lesser Flamingo between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Lesser Flamingo is known in Afrikaans as Kleinflamink.

The Lesser Flamingo has a height of 49 cms and weighs around 650 gms. The head is coloured pink while the bill is coloured crimson. The Phoenicopterus minor has a pink coloured throat, red, pink legs and a pink coloured back. The eyes are orange.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is pink

Eyes are orange

Bill is crimson

Legs are red, pink

Throat is pink

Back is pink

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Lesser Flamingo strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Lesser Flamingo uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Lesser Flamingo is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Lesser Flamingo is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

You can see the Lesser Flamingo bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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