International Flamingo Day Date in the current year: April 26, 2024

International Flamingo Day International Flamingo Day is observed annually on April 26. It was created to raise awareness of the difference species of flamingo and to celebrate and appreciate the remarkable birds that the flamingos are.

Flamingos are a type of shorebirds in the family Phoenicopteridae, which includes three genera: Phoenicopterus (three extant species), Phoenicoparrus (two extant species), and Phoeniconaias (one extant species). Out of the six extant flamingo species, four are native to the Americas, including the Caribbean, and two are native to Afro-Eurasia.

The Old World flamingos, the greater flamingo and the lesser flamingo, are the best-known flamingo species. The greater flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo; it is found in parts of Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, the Middle East, and Southern Europe. The lesser flamingo, native to Sub-Saharan Africa and western India, is less widespread, but more numerous. The New World flamingo species include the Chilean flamingo, the Andean flamingo, James’s flamingo, and the American flamingo (also known as the Caribbean flamingo).

The flamingo got its name from its bright pink or reddish plumage; it derives from Spanish or Portuguese flamengo, which means “flame-colored”. The flamingo’s plumage acquires its color due to carotenoid-rich crustaceans in their food supply. Healthy and well-fed wild flamingos are brightly colored, whereas pale or white flamingos are usually malnourished or unhealthy. Another recognizable thing about flamingos is their habit of standing on one leg while tucking the other beneath their body.

International Flamingo Day was launched in 2020 by the Flamingo Specialist Group, a global network of flamingo specialists that promotes research and conservation of the world’s six flamingo species. It is coordinated by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust as part of the IUCN Species Survival Commission / Wetlands International Waterbird Network.

The holiday is celebrated on April 26 to commemorate the birthday of French-American artist, naturalist, and ornithologist John James Audubon. Audubon created a life-size chromolithograph of an American flamingo for his magnum opus The Birds of America, a book containing illustrations of almost 500 American bird species.

International Flamingo Day aims to showcase the differences between the six flamingo species and highlight their individual features that make them unique. It also raises awareness of the importance of flamingo conservation and habitat preservation; of the six flamingo species, the IUCN lists the lesser flamingo, James’s flamingo and the Chilean flamingo as near threatened, and the Andean flamingo as vulnerable.

There are many ways to get involved with International Flamingo Day. You can read a book or watch a documentary about flamingos and share the trivia you’ve learned with others, check our the flamingo exhibit at your local zoo, donate to an organization that supports flamingo research and conservation, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #InternationalFlamingoDay.

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