Damn, now that’s interesting… Greater Flamingos….

The greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus).

This is a bird I know little of, but have always been fascinated by videos on National Geographic’s. The masses of birds observed on pans in the north of Africa has been something I thought I’d never witness.

Well I still haven’t, but, 60 odd birds in one pan is good enough for me…

This I have now ID’ed as the Greater flamingo which is the most widespread of the species. There is also the P. minor which is found Africa and India; the P. chilensis found in S America; the P. jamesi found in Peru and Argentina; the P. andinus found in the high Andes of Peru and Argentina; and the P. ruber found on the Caribbean islands, Caribbean Mexico, Belize and Galapagos islands.

A big bird which lays a single egg, eats small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and molluscs.

Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. Sub-adult flamingos are whitish-grey and only attain the pink coloration several years into their adult life. The coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.

Although I cannot find a reference to it, the eyes of all species seems to be yellow…. why…???? They just don’t seem to fit with the rest of the bird… and now more photos to bore you….


















Every time these two got near each other they raised their feathers it’s called a piloerection… now what the hell is a piloerection ??

Piloerection is the raised hairs on the shoulders, along the back and (sometimes) the tail. This is most commonly seen on dogs or cats, but it has been observed in other animals such as birds, rats and many more. This hair-raising reaction is involuntary and a result of the nervous system. Adrenaline causes the muscles to contract, and the hair straightens away from the body as a result. (Hence my title “Damn, now that’s interesting”)


64 thoughts on “Damn, now that’s interesting… Greater Flamingos….

    • Thanks Paula for the complement… no my presence went almost un-noticed…. I find with all my birds I can get a lot closer than most people… they have a body language so easy to read, that one knows when you’ve reached the line of tolerance… “another step closer and I’m gone” shows up on their faces… a language I’ve studied for so many years…

  1. Beautiful. It’s the backwards knees that always fascinate me with long-legged birds – most animals that have a midway bend in the legs bend forwards like ours don’t they, and yet not with these birds, do we know why?

  2. I have to say I am jealous with all your wildlife sightings and photography. Just like the African Cranes that I recently posted I have seen the Flamingos in another Wildlife Park not in the wild. You are so blessed you are surrounded with all these beautiful and amazing creatures.

    • Thank you so much .. I loved your post on the cranes…. this was an unexpected find… happened to be driving down the road and as I passed the pan there they were.

  3. Beautiful photos! How much prettier the real ones are compared to the pink plastic things people stick in the ground in Florida! Good to see you posting again. I have been a bit out of the loop the last few weeks but I do look at my emails and hadn’t gotten any notifications of you posting recently. Wondered where you are! Glad you are doing well.

  4. Piloerection = goosebumps 😉 So it’s not as naughty as it seems.
    Thanks for the pics. My Mynah children still visit me several times a day and periodically are joined by a few other small birds begging for a few crumbs.

    • Hi Ronnie… it always amazes me at this stage of my life I am still learning new things and new words…. sometimes I wonder if they haven’t just recently been made up….

    • Hey thank you Doris… so nice to see you around again…. my health is improving all the time… just got to loose a bit of weight that has sprung up after giving up smoking… gyming everyday to change this barrel to a six pack….

      • 🙂 you will have it in now time (six pack), I will check your blog in a bit so much to see, you are not appearing in my reader until today, will make a fonder in my browser with my friend, have been missing lots of post

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