Lesser Flamingo

Conservation status

Near Threatened

Population Trend


Alternate Names


Native Habitat



Phytoplankton, Shrimps


Lesser Flamingo

Phoeniconaias minor

The Lesser Flamingo is a species of flamingo found in sub-Saharan Africa and India. Birds are occasionally reported from further north, but these are generally considered vagrants. The Lesser Flamingo is the smallest species of flamingo, though it is a tall and largish bird by most standards. The species can weigh 3 kg. The standing height is 35 in. The total length and wingspan are in the same range of measurements, 40 in. Most of the plumage is pinkish white. The clearest difference between this species and the Greater Flamingo, the only other Old World species of flamingo, is the much more extensive black on the bill. Size is less helpful unless the species are together, since the sexes of each species also differ in height.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ছোট ধুলজিরিয়া
  • Bhojpuri:
    छोटका राजहंस
  • Gujarati:
    નાનો બલો, નાનો હંજ
  • Hindi:
    छोटा बोग हंस
  • Marathi:
    छोटा रोहित
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Phoeniconaias minor

Quick Facts
  • Flamingos feed with their heads upside down. They move their bills underwater and force the water out with tongue, the bill acting as a sieve. The food left behind is then consumed.
  • Flamingos can withstand very contaminated water, like polluted creeks. Perhaps this is because their main food is an algae that flourishes in alkaline water.
  • Flamingos get their colour from pigments in their food. These pigments are found in the shrimp and algae that the birds eat.