LAMELLIROSTRAL GRALLATORES. Order VI. ODONT OGLOSS^E
FLAMINGOES. Family PHOENICOPTERIDAE
182. FLAMINGO. Phcenicopterus ruber.
Range. Tropical and sub-tropical America on the Atlantic coasts, breeding in the Bahamas and West Indies; north to Florida and casually to the South Atlantic States.
These remarkable and grotesque appearing birds attain a length of about 48 inches. The plumage varies from white to a deep rosy red. It requires several years for them to attain the perfect adult plumage, and unlike most birds, they are in the best of plumage during the winter, the colors becoming faded as the nesting season approaches. The birds are especially noticable because of the crooked, hollow, scoop-shaped bill, and the extremely long legs and neck. The feet are webbed, but more for the purpose of supporting them upon the mud flats than for use in swimming. The nests are usually built on a sandy point of an island; they are mounds of earth, grass and rubbish from one to two feet in height, the top being hollowed to receive the eggs. One or two eggs are a complete set. The shell is pale blue, but this is covered with a heavy white chalky deposit. The eggs are laid in June and July. Size 3.40x2.15.