Birds A-Z

Greater Flamingo

Phoenicopterus roseus


Jorge Leitão, Xeno-canto


Key information: The Greater Flamingo is probably the most popular winter bird in Cyprus. Some years, thousands of flamingos congregate at Akrotiri and Larnaka Salt Lakes, usually arriving in November and leaving by end of February. If the water levels are right, some flamingos (usually juveniles) may stay longer and even spend the summer here. By working the muddy bottom of the lake with their feet, Greater Flamingos immerse their heads in the muddy water, filter-feeding on brine shrimp. Juvenile Greater Flamingos turn pink after 2 – 4 years. Until then, their plumage is a dirty brown-grey colour.

Length: 120 – 145 cm

Habitat: Wetlands

When they can be seen: Autumn, winter, spring

What they eat: Fish and other aquatic organisms

In Cyprus: Can be seen at Akrotiri and Larnaka Salt Lakes, Oroklini Lake, and Paralimni Lake

Status: Winter visitor, passage migrant

Illustration by Paschalis Dougalis

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