Fenicottero Rosa - Phoenicopterus roseus
Pink flamingo or greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus Pallas, 1811) is a large bird widespread in Asia, Africa and southern Europe. Fenicottero Rosa Phoenicopterus Roseus Greater flamingo intotheblue.it
Scientific name of the flamingo has a Latin etymology: phoenix = phoenix (interpreted as “purple”, from the color of the phoenix) and pteron = wing; which is literally translated as “purple wings”.
It reaches a height of 140 cm and a wingspan of 240 cm. It weighs up to 5.6 kg in males and up to 3.5 kg in females.
Most of the plumage is pinkish white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a narrow black tip and the legs are completely pink. The call is a goose horn.
The chicks are covered with gray hair. Subadult flamingos are lighter with dark legs. The nursing chicks become paler but keep their paws bright pink. The coloring comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds. The secretions of the uropygene gland also contain carotenoids. During the breeding season, larger flamingos increase the frequency of their diffusion of uropygic secretions on their feathers and increase their color. This cosmetic use of uropygic secretions has been described as “trick”.
Distribution and habitat
It is the only species of flamingo that breeds in Europe. We find it in France (Camargue), Spain, Turkey, Albania, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal. It also lives in Africa and southern Asia (Pakistan and India). In Italy it regularly nests in Emilia Romagna, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily; rarely in Tuscany and Veneto. In Sardinia it is now considered a sedentary species.