Family Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae)

Least Concern

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)


French: Flamant rose German: Rosaflamingo Spanish: Flamenco común

Phoenicopterus roseus


, 1811,

Ural River


Previously considered conspecific with P. ruber, but now generally accepted as a distinct species, based on pinkish-white vs pinkish-red head, neck and body plumage (4); all-pink vs white-based pinkish-red bill (3); less black around tip of bill (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

S & E Spain and S France S through N, W & E Africa to South Africa and Madagascar, and E to Kazakhstan and through Middle East to India and Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

120–145 cm; 2100–4100 g; wingspan 140–165 cm. This and the American Flamingo (P. ruber) are the largest flamingoes. Adult is much paler coloured than American... read more


Commonest call (both perched and in flight) is a goose-like double honk “ka-hank” or “ka-rrak”,... read more


Saline lagoons and salt pans are typically used for feeding and nesting. It also inhabits large,... read more

Food and feeding

Relatively varied diet. Animal food consists of aquatic invertebrates, e.g. crustaceans (Artemia, Gammarus, copepods),... read more


The timing of breeding is variable in most of the tropics and subtropics. Environmental conditions, in particular water depths at the... read more


Partially migratory and highly dispersive. Northern populations may perform regular migrations but... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). The Greater Flamingo is regularly seen in coastal West Africa, from Mauritania to Sierra Leone, eastward throughout the Mediterranean... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 November 2019).