Lesser Flamingo
Phoenicopterus minor

Although it’s the tallest bird on the Zoo’s Tropics Trail, the lesser flamingo is the smallest species of flamingo.

Where They Live:
There are six species of flamingos in the world.  The lesser flamingo is mostly found in salty lagoons and lakes of Africa.

What They Eat:
Lesser flamingos are filter feeders—they use their tongue to suck salty water and mud in and out through their bills, which helps them catch and eat mostly algae, but also some shrimp, plankton, and other crustaceans in the water.

Test Your Knowledge! (answers below)

  1. How old is a flamingo chick when it learns to fly?
  2. 2 days 2 weeks          c. 12 weeks         d. 1 year 
  1. A flock of flamingos is called a…
  2. stand colony        c. regiment               d. flamboyance     e. all of the above

Answer each of the following questions with True or False:

  1. Flamingos are pink because of the food they eat.
  2. Lesser flamingos usually fly during the day.
  3. There are only three breeding sites of lesser flamingos in Africa.

Fun Fact!

Flamingo chicks attend daycare!  A mated pair of flamingos lays just one egg at a time, but after hatching, the chick joins many others in what is known as a crèche.  Multiple chicks are supervised by just a few adults at a time.

Lesser flamingos get their pink coloring from the algae they eat.  Download this coloring sheet and have fun coloring flamingos of a different color.