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The Elegant Lesser Flamingo

By Chris Taylor Monday, June 25, 2018

Oh man I am so excited that summer is actually finally in full swing. It’s been a pretty wet few days here but the sun has been shining down on us for a few days and we won’t complain. Neither will the lesser flamingo.

The smallest of the flamingo species is the lesser flamingo. This native of India, Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa can live to be over 50 years in the wild. I guess that’s why their population is so large with estimates around 3 million for this subspecies alone.

The Flamingo Stands Tall

The lesser flamingo stands 2-3ft. In height and weighs anywhere from 2-6 pounds. It can fly at speeds up to 60 km/h with a wingspan of 3-4 feet. One telling characteristic of the lesser flamingo is the black-tipped wings which you usually don’t see unless this bird is in flight. Their wings are otherwise tucked when they are standing.

The name flamingo has its origins from the word flame which was used to describe the plumage of the bird. The lesser flamingo however is the least pink or orange of all the flamingo species. The color of a flamingo is in direct relation to their diet and this one eats less crustaceans than their other flamingo counterparts surviving on more algae than animals.

A female Lesser will lay one white egg at a time which is incubated by both parents. The egg will hatch in around 30 days. Parents create what is called “Crop Milk” and this can be used to feed not only their young but also other young in the colony.

Here is a short video on the lesser flamingos of Timbavati Wildlife Park and the next time you’re in the Waterfalls Area stop by and take a look at our lesser flamingos. Make sure you check out our VIP Luxury Tours on our website for an enhanced experience.

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