Photographer's Note

Lesser and greater flamingos flock in large numbers to pools along the Namib Desert coast, particularly around Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. They’re excellent fliers, and have been known to migrate up to 500km overnight in search of proliferations of algae and crustaceans.

The lesser flamingo filters algae and diatoms (microscopic organisms) from the water by sucking in and vigorously expelling water from its bill. The minute particles are caught on fine hairlike protrusions, which line the inside of the mandibles. The suction is created by the thick fleshy tongue, which rests in a groove in the lower mandible and pumps back and forth like a piston. It has been estimated that a million lesser flamingos can consume over 180 tonnes of algae and diatoms daily.

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Additional Photos by gee hoo (geehoo) Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6 W: 17 N: 239] (874)
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