|Greater flamingo at the Cincinnati Zoo|
The greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in the wetlands areas of Africa, southwest Europe, and South Asia. This is the largest species of flamingo, averaging up to 5 feet tall, and weighing 8 lbs. Their wingspan is 4 to 6 feet. Greater flamingos live up to 20 years in the wild. Their diet consists of seeds, algae, and small invertebrates.
The bird lives in mudflats and shallow coastal lagoons with salt water. Using its feet, the bird stirs up the mud, then sucks water through its bill and filters out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and molluscs. The greater flamingo feeds with its head down. Its upper jaw is movable and not rigidly fixed to its skull. It was the state bird of Junagadh State.