Lesser Flamingo (flamingo-pequeno)

Scientific name: Phoenicopterus minor

Gaia Biological Park (Portugal)

Flamingo-pequeno – Parque Biológico de Gaia

The Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) is a species in the flamingo family of birds that resides in Africa (principally in the Great Rift Valley) and in southern Asia. Birds are occasionally reported from further north, but these are generally considered to be escapees.

O flamingo-pequeno (Phoeniconaias minor) é uma ave da família Phoenicopteridae. É um pouco menor que o flamingo-comum, distinguindo-se pelas tonalidades mais intensas da plumagem e pelo bico escuro. Este flamingo distribui-se pela África tropical, sendo muito raro na Europa. Existem algumas observações em Portugal, mas não se sabe se as aves em causa eram genuinamente selvagens.

Mute Swan (Cisne-mudo)

Scientific name: Cignus Olor

Parque da Cidade (Oporto – Portugal)

Cisne-mudo – Parque da Cidade

The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a species of swan, and thus a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa. The name ‘mute’ derives from it being less vocal than other swan species.Measuring 125 to 170 centimetres in length, this large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the bill

Mandarin Duck (Pato-mandarim)

Scientific name: Aix galericulata

Parque da Cidade (Oporto – Portugal)

Pato-mandarim  – Parque da Cidade

The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41–49 cm long with a 65–75 cm wingspan.

The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and “whiskers”. The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange “sails” at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.

Unlike other species of ducks, most Mandarin drakes reunite with the hens they mated with along with their offsprings after the eggs have hatched and even share scout duties in watching the ducklings closely. However, even with both parents securing the ducklings, most of them do not survive to adulthood.

The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs