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Flamingo - a bird from Africa in shimmering pink

Flamingo. Foto: Ann-Charlott Öberg

In the African bird collection we find a plankton-eating bird - the flamingo. In Africa, it lives in saltwater lakes and ponds.

The beaches along some East African lakes can be shimmering in pink color - the color that comes from the millions of flamingos that gather to eat. In large crowds  the birds wade around in the shallow water and sieves in the plankton algae. This elegant and large bird is one of very few examples of bird-species that completely feeds on microscopic plankton.

The lakes that attract such huge numbers of birds are so-called soda lakes with extremely high salinity. The water in the ponds has no outlet, so the water only disappears through evaporation resulting in the high salinity, which in turn favors plankton growth. In the same way, one can see flamingos in the salty water along the Namibian coastline where the Namib Desert reaches the sea.

Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) A956.

The bird can be found in showcase 5 in the African Bird Collection.

Updated: 2017-11-08 12:08