Pink Flamingo Day was declared in 2007 by Dean Mazzarella, the mayor of Leominster, MA to honor the work of Don Featherstone, creator of the famous plastic flamingo garden decorations.
Don Featherstone created the iconic flamingo bird piece in 1957 while working for Union Products. He based his design on photographs of greater flamingos from National Geographic because he was unable to get the beautiful birds to use as real-life models. In 1996, Featherstone was awarded the 1996 Ig Nobel Art Prize (a parody of the Nobel Prize) for his creation of the pink flamingo.
Since the plastic garden beauties were created inspired by the actual colorful birds, let's find out more about them. There are six species of modern flamingos, and most of them live in Asia, Africa, and South America. These pink animals get their color because of carotenoids (naturally occurring pigments) in the food they eat (shrimp, algae, and plankton). If they’re not getting the right diet, their color fades. It takes up to three years for baby flamingos to turn their gray feathers into a colorful coat.
Celebrate this Friday, the 10th annual Pink Flamingo Day, by looking at many beautiful photos of fabulous and very very pink birds.