1576. Phoenicopterus minor.
The Lesser Flamingo.
Phoenicopterus minor, Geoffr. Butt. Soc. Philom. i, 2, p. 98, figs. 1, 2, 3 (1798) ; Temm. Pl. Col, pl. 419 ; Jerdon, Mad. Jour. L. S. xii, p. 217 ; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 174 ; Jerdon, Ibis, 1869, p. 231; Hume, ibid. p. 355 ; id. S. F. i, pp. 31, 258; Adam, S. F. i, p. 400; ii, p. 339; Hume, S. F. iv, p. 25 ; id. Cat. no. 944 bis ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 436 ; Hume, S. F. x, p. 513 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 393. Phoenicopterus blythi, Bonap. Consp. Av. ii, p. 140 (1857). Phoenicopterus rubidus, Feilden, Ibis, 1808, p. 496; G. B. Gray, Ibis, 1869, p. 442. Phoeniconaias minor, Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 18 ; Baker, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. xi, p. 8.
Coloration. Head, neck, and body rosy pink, feathers round base of bill tinged with crimson ; old birds have crimson central patches on the feathers of the back and breast; median wing-coverts crimson with pale pink edges; other wing-coverts rosy, except the greater under wing-coverts, which, like the primaries and secondaries, are black; tertiaries and tail-feathers tinged with rosy; axillaries crimson.
In young birds the head, neck, and breast are pale dusky ashy, abdomen and lower tail-coverts white; primaries black; wing-coverts brown, dark-shafted ; back brown, with pale edges to the feathers ; wing-lining pale rose.
Bill claret-colour at base, shading off to lake, with the tip black; irides golden yellow, with an outer ring of orange-scarlet; legs and feet blood-red.
Length of males about 33; tail 4.5 ; wing 13.5 ; tarsus 8; bill from gape to point straight, 3.7; females are smaller, wing 13; tarsus 7.5.
Distribution. Eastern Africa and Madagascar, occurring occasionally in North-western India and the Peninsula, sometimes at Sambhar in large numbers, but irregularly, and apparently at all seasons. This Flamingo is not known to breed in India, though it occasionally lays eggs irregularly in May.