Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) - Wiki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[Photo] Lesser Flamingo at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Gloucestershire, England. Taken by Adrian Pingstone in June 2003 and released to the public domain.
The Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) is a species in the flamingo family of birds which occurs in Africa (principally in the Great Rift Valley), across to Pakistan and northwest India. It is the smallest and most numerous flamingo, probably numbering up to two million individual birds.
In Africa, where they are most numerous, the Lesser Flamingos breeds principally on the highly caustic Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. Like all flamingos, they lay a single chalky white egg on mounds they build of mud. Most of the plumage is pinkish white.
Chicks join creches soon after hatching, sometimes numbering over a hundred thousand individuals. The creches are marshalled by a few adult birds who lead them by foot to fresh water, a journey that can reach over 20 miles.
The clearest difference between this species and Greater Flamingo, the only other Old World species, is the much more extensive black on the bill. Size is less helpful unless the species are together, since the sexes of each species also differ in height.
This species feeds primarily on Spirulina, a cyanobacteria which grows only in very alkaline lakes. Although blue-green in colour, the bacteria contains the phtotosynthetic pigments that gives the birds their pink colour. Their deep bill is specialised for filtering tiny food items.
Lesser Flamingos are predated on by a variety of species including Marabou Storks, baboons, African Fish Eagles and jackals.
The population in the two key east African lakes, Nakuru and Bogoria, have been adversely affected in recent years by suspected heavy metal poisoning.
The Lesser Flamingo is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
|The text in this page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article shown in above URL. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.|