Pink flamingos are some of nature’s more distinctive and colorful creations, and also man’s. In 1957, the pink flamingo lawn ornament was created by a trained sculptor Don Featherstone (yes, he has a perfect Flintstones name!) who just happened to work for a plastics company.
Featherstone’s design was produced and soon took off, and the bright pink plastic birds became a fixture in suburban yards across the U.S., and eventually the ultimate symbol of kitsch.
While Pink Flamingo Day was created in 2007 to honor the kitschy plastic lawn dwellers and their creator, it’s also a day to raise awareness of these beautiful birds and their history.
– There are six species of flamingos found around the world, and they tend to live in large flocks or colonies of up to several hundred birds. They can live up to age 30 in the wild, and 40 in captivity.
– Flamingos can swim and fly, and are also the world’s tallest birds – growing 4-5 feet tall at maturity – but they only weigh between four and eight pounds!
– Baby flamingos are born with grey and white feathers that gradually turn pink as the chicks mature. By age two, they should blend in beautifully with the flock!
– Baby flamingos are fed a high protein and high fat “crop milk” that’s produced by both the mother and the father.
– The flamingo’s distinctive pink color comes from beta carotene found in the crustaceans and plankton in their diet. Without it, they will turn white.
– In order to feed, the flamingo stirs up mud with its feet, scoops up muddy water in its beak, and then turns its head upside down to strain out the water and mud to get to the good stuff – plankton and other microscopic morsels.
– Ancient Romans considered flamingo tongue and eggs a delicious delicacy, and believed that the fat of the bird cured tuberculosis.
– Flamingos famously stand on one leg – they do it to keep warm!
– Flamingos range in color from bright pink to orange and coral to crimson.
– Since 1957, millions of pink plastic flamingos have been sold.