American Flamingo (Phoenictopterus ruber)
(aka Greater Flamingo)
Greater Flamingo, Cayo Coco, Cuba, February 2005 - click on image for a larger view Cayo Coco, Cuba
February 2005

Some authorities lump 2 sub-species together under Greater Flamingo: P. r. ruber distributed in the Caribbean and the Galapagos; and P. r. roseus distributed round the Mediterranean, in Africa, the Middle East and India. Howard & Moore 2013 and the HBW and Birdlife International Checklist split these into Greater Flamingo P. roseus and American Flamingo P. ruber.

It is found in shallow, inshore waters and brackish pools where it feeds on small marine animals and algae which are strained from the sediment while the bill is held under water.

American Flamingo is a much deeper pink to red colour than Greater Flamingo. The black flight feathers are usually visible only in flight but can just be seen in this image.

They are usually found in large flocks but this was the only individual seen during our 2 weeks in Cuba.

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