| Share
 

flamingo

flamingo, common name for a large pink or red wading bird, similar to the related heron, stork, and spoonbill but with a longer neck, webbed feet, and a unique down-bent bill. Flamingos are tropical birds, although large colonies have been observed high in the Andes. The American, or greater, flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber, is now rarely seen in Florida, nesting chiefly in the West Indies. Its plumage is vermilion with black-edged wings; a common S Asian and African flamingo is scarlet with black wing feathers. The flamingo scoops its large bill backward through shallow water in marshes and lagoons. When closed, the serrated edges of the bill strain from the muddy water the aquatic plants, shellfish, and frogs on which the bird feeds. The nest is a cone of mud 1 to 2 ft (30–61 cm) high and about 1 ft (30 cm) across with a depression on top. The mates take turns incubating the one or two eggs, sitting astride the nest with their legs folded flat on either side. Flamingos are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Ciconiiformes, family Phoenicopteridae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on flamingo from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Vertebrate Zoology


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring