The greater flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. The Caribbean flamingo, which can be seen also in the zoo, is a sub- species of the greater flamingo. It can be found in Africa, Asia and South Europe. The flamingo is a migratory bird, for example North Asian birds migrate in winter time to Iran and India. Sometimes when the weather is mild flamingos will spend the winter at the same location. The greater flamingo is a tall bird and can reach 140 cm. Most of its plumage is pinkish- white and the wing tips are red. The greater flamingo is particular about its choice of habitat. It needs shallow, very salty lagoons and lakes in which to feed and breed. Both males and females look for a good site to build the nest which is a mound of mud 35 cm round and 30 cm high on which a single white egg is laid. Both parents incubate the egg for 4 weeks until it hatches. The Greater flamingo filters its food from the water much like a blue whale! Its beak has a sieve-like adaptation. The flamingo feeds mostly on pink shrimp and blue algae, which hold the Beta-carotene pigment - giving the bird its unique color. In zoos, flamingos are given food with a color additive or vegetables like beets, red peppers and carrots - to maintain the pink color. The bird's color is mostly important for courtship rituals.