Greater Flamingo

This tall, slender bird is seen on shallow lakes A and coastal waters. It specializes in feeding in lakes with a high concentration of either fl saline or alkaline salts. These waters contain sufficient food to feed a large number of birds, but the food is usually very small, consisting of insects, shrimp like animals, and tiny plants including diatoms and algae. The Greater flamingo wades in the shallow water, reaches down with its long neck, and sucks in the water through its upturned bill. Inside the bill, small animals are collected on a comblike arrangement of fine plates (lamellae) between which the water drains. Suitable lakes are few and far between, and the birds must travel long distances from one feeding site to another, often in large flocks.

• NEST A cone of mud with a hollow top, in a dense colony on a or salt lake.

• Distribution Scattered locations in the Caribbean, Africa, S.W. Europe, and Asia.

elongated plumes used in • display folded » wing

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