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Greater Flamingo | Phoenicopterus ruber

The Greater Flamingo is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scopidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Greater Flamingo (Latin name Phoenicopterus ruber) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phoenicopterus ruber can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 96 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 605. You will find a picture of the Greater 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 Greater Flamingo between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Greater Flamingo is known in Afrikaans as Grootflamink.

The Greater Flamingo has a height of 165 cms and weighs around 3500 gms. The head is coloured pink while the bill is coloured mauve. The Phoenicopterus ruber has a pink coloured throat, grey legs and a pink coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

The male Phoenicopterus ruber has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

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 yellow

Bill is mauve

Legs are grey

Throat is pink

Back is pink

Feeding Habits ...

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

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Greater 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 1 eggs and they are coloured white.

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 Greater 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 Greater 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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