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Flamingos nest in large colonies. They lay eggs in cone shaped mud
nests. One egg is laid at a time which both parents incubate. Flamingos
produce"milk" like pigeon milk from a hormone called prolactin. Its
mostly fat with red and white blood cells, and it is produced in glands
lining the whole of the upper digestive tract. Both parents nurse their
chick for about two months until their bills are developed enough to
Future of the Flamingo
Probably the most serious threat to lesser flamingos is the proposed
soda extraction plant at Lake Natron in Tanzania. Lake Natron is the
only breeding ground for Phoeniconaias minor flamingos in eastern
Africa. Because flamingos rely on cyanobacteria blooming cycles to
breed, the lake's balance (salinity and mineral composition) is crucial
to these flamingos well being.
Pollution causing disease may be a threat at Lake Nakuru, but recent
tests of birds around the lake did not reveal harmful levels of
pollutants in the birds' tissues.
A disease outbreak killed an estimated 25,000 lesser flamingos in Kenya
in September and October 1993 (see African Wildlife Update,
November-December 1993). Scientists found evidence that the outbreak was
caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common water-borne bacterium. Other
theories on the cause are avian cholera, botulism, metal pollution, and
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