Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Flamingo (Pheenicopterus), a genus of Anserine birds, with eight species, four of which are American, the others ranging over Africa, the South of Europe, India, and Ceylon. They are often made a family; and Professor Huxley constituted for them his group Amphimorpha?, on the ground that they were intermediate between the Geese and the Storks and Herons. The neck and legs are very long, and the feet webbed; the bill is longer than the head, bending downwards in the middle, and furnished on each side with sieve-like plates, to act as strainers, and the tongue is armed with strong recurved spines. These birds fly well, and are good swimmers, but only in deep water, owing to their long legs. When feeding, the neck is bent, so that the head is upside down, for in no other position could they bring the straining plates into play. The food, like that of ducks and geese, consists of worms, molluscs, crustaceans, and small fishes, and is taken by the simple device of filling the mouth with water, which runs out through the comb-like plates of the bill that also serve to retain the prey. The Common Flamingo (P. antiquorum) is a summer visitor to the South of Europe. The plumage of the male is white with a pinkish tinge, and the wing-feathers are brilliant scarlet. The neck is extraordinarily lithe, as may be seen by visitors to the Zoological Gardens, or in the life-like sketches of the late Rev. J. G. Wood's Explanatory Index to Waterton's Wanderings. The nest is a conical structure of mud, and the balance of evidence seems to be in favour of the view that the hen birds sit with the legs hanging down on each side or stretched out behind.