Family Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae)

Near Threatened

Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)


French: Flamant nain German: Zwergflamingo Spanish: Flamenco enano

Phoenicopterus minor

É. Geoffroy Sainte-Hilaire

, 1798,

no locality = Senegal


In recent years, frequently included in genus Phoenicopterus, along with all other flamingos. Monotypic.


Bulk of population in Rift Valley of E Africa; three further, more or less discrete populations in Namibia/Botswana/South Africa, Mauritania/Senegal and NW India/Pakistan.

Descriptive notes

80–90 cm; c. 1500–2000 g; wingspan 95–100 cm. Smallest flamingo; bill long, very dark. Female slightly smaller. Juvenile grey brown, slightly darker overall... read more


Commonest call is a low-pitched subdued murmuring “murr-err”, which can be heard continuously in... read more


Inland saline and alkaline lakes, and also coastal lagoons. Tolerates or actively seeks out more... read more

Food and feeding

Highly specialized: almost entirely dependent on microscopic blue green algae (Spirulina, Oscillatoria, Lyngbya... read more


Breeding is very irregular and dependent on suitable conditions at the few breeding locations, which vary considerably from year to year.... read more


Extensive movements of vast numbers of birds can occur, usually at night and often after several... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. The most numerous flamingo but global population has declined markedly. The core population, on soda... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Boesman, P., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor). 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 24 January 2020).