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Lesser Flamingos

Lesser  flamingo is the commonest, smallest and brightest of all the flamingos. Lesser flamingos plumage is an evenly colored deep pink. The bill is dark red with a black tip. The legs are red and a hind toe called a hallux is present.

Habitat

Inland salt lakes, as well as coastal lagoons. Can feed in saltier lakes than Greater flamingo. The lesser flamingo is found in Africa and India.

Behavior of Lesser flamingos

Lesser flamingos are nomadic birds that live in the large, closely packed flocks all year round comprising tens of thousands of individuals.

Lesser flamingos usually fly at night to avoid predators. Reaching speed of 50-60km/h, they are capable of covering long distances of up to 600km. Flying with their head, neck and legs outstretched, they either fly in a V formation or in a single line. To become airborne the Lesser flamingo has to run forward while flapping wings, and when landing it will run several steps before it stops. When resting they always face into the wind to prevent the rain and wind penetrating their feathers, they rest by either sitting down with their legs tucked underneath them or or by standing on one leg.

Reproduction of Lesser flamingos

Lesser Flamingos are monogamous and only breed in the presence of large numbers. Mating is initiated by a spectacular courtship ritual that involves a lot of marching to and fro, standing tall and erect, stretching their legs in an upward direction, flapping their wings and repeated head turning, before they eventually pair off.

The female lays a single chalky colored egg that guarded and incubated by both parents for a period of up to 31 days. The chicks are a grey-white color, and have a straight red bill, their eyes are initially grey but turn a yellow-orange color by the time they are one year old.

Predators

Lesser flamingos are defenseless, and when threatened they will fly away. They have few natural predators due primarily to the remote, hostile, inhospitable environments in which they live. Their main predators are other birds such as marabou storks and African fish eagles, wildcats, and the occasional python.

Interested in other wild animals? See other articles about:

Wildebeest

Savanna Baboons

Giraffe, Masai race

African Elephant

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