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Gujarat – Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Common Name: Greater Flamingo

Local Name: Hanj Pakkhi (Gujrati), Bag Hans (Hindi)

Scientific Name: Phoenicopterus roseus Pallas

Description: The largest and most common species of flamingo on Earth is the Greater Flamingo. The birds can weigh up to 2 to 4 kg and range in height from 110 to 150 cm on average. This magnificent bird has a large pink bill with a narrow black tip that curves sharply downward from approximately half of its length. The pinkish-white plumage, red wing coverts, and black primary and secondary flight feathers of Greater Flamingos are their distinguishing features. During the breeding season, the birds engage in intricate dance performances as part of their gregarious behavior.


Distribution and Habitat: Parts of Africa, Southern Asia, the Middle East, and Southern Europe are home to Greater Flamingos. The bird can be observed at Gujarat’s Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, Thol Bird Sanctuary, Flamingo City, and Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary during the winter. The primary habitats of Greater Flamingos are shallow lagoons and mudflats close to the coast. It consumes microscopic species such as minuscule shrimp, blue-green algae, and mollusks. The fact that the birds feed in big groups helps to keep predators away from them.

Threats: Some of the major threats to the Greater Flamingos include polluted water bodies, bacterial contamination of the water where they feed, and encroachment of their habitat by humans.

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