Are There Flamingos in Florida?

There are many things to love about the Sunshine State, and now you can add another item to your list of things you can do in Florida: flamingo spotting.

Which flamingo species can you spot in the state of Florida? Where are flamingos located in Florida and when’s the best time to spot them, are all questions I will answer in this article.

So, if you’re a bird enthusiast planning a trip to Florida, make sure to add a stop for flamingo watching as well.

Are There Wild Flamingos in Florida?

Yes, there are wild flamingos along much of Florida’s coast. The flamingo species that you can spot here is the Caribbean flamingo, which is one of the most intensely colored of all the flamingo species in the world.

With bright pink and crimson plumage, long thin legs, slender body, and a long flexible neck, the Caribbean flamingo is also among the largest flamingo species in the world.

The Caribbean flamingo, also known as the American flamingo, stands at a height of approximately 80–145 cm (31–57 in.) and has a weight of around 1.9–3 kg (4.2–6.6 lbs).

Most of the flamingos in Florida were spotted in the Everglades, Biscayne Bay and Florida Keys.

Flamingos were once abundant in Florida, but extensive hunting at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s has caused the population to plummet to near-extinction levels.

The reason why they were hunted was not their meat, but their feathers. Back then it was fashionable for women to wear hats adorned with flamingo feathers.

For some time, it was believed that Caribbean flamingos have become extinct in Florida. Luckily, they have made a comeback, although their numbers are still low.

There are only around 400 wild flamingos living in Florida. Much of them were considered vagrants from the West Indies, Cuba, and the Bahamas.

Researchers are still studying whether these birds are descendants of rogue birds escaped from captivity that have managed to breed or they’re simply vagrants.

For now, their origins are still muddled, but researchers are working on getting them a ‘threatened’ status to qualify for stronger protection.

When Are Flamingos in Florida?

The best time to spot flamingos in the coastal areas of Florida is from late March, through April and early May. Flamingos can be spotted year-round in the Everglades.

In 2018, a flamingo named Conchy was found in Key West. Researchers banded it and released it, thinking it would return to Cuba or Bahamas.

To their surprise, Conchy stayed in Florida and joined a flock of other flamingos, which led researchers to believe that there are indeed native flamingo populations in Florida along with the occasional vagrant populations.

Best Places to Watch Flamingos in Florida

Whether you’re a resident of Florida or just visiting, there are several great places where you can watch Flamingos up close.

I’ve gathered up 10 of the best places to see flamingos in Florida in the table below. You’ll also find the address for every location as well as a phone number where you can ask for more information.

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK 40001 State Road 9636 Homestead, FL 33034 305-242-7700
EVERGLADES WONDER GARDENS Everglades Wonder Gardens 27180 Old 41 Rd Bonita Springs, FL 34135 239-992-2591
BUSCH GARDENS 10165 McKinley Drive Tampa, FL 33612 813-884-4386
DISCOVERY COVE 6000 Discovery Cove Way Orlando, FL 32821 407-513-4600
FLAMINGO GARDENS 3750 S. Flamingo Rd Davie, FL 33330 954-473-2955
HIALEAH PARK CASINO 100 East 32nd St Hialeah, FL 33013 305-885-8000
JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS 370 Zoo Parkway Jacksonville, FL 32218 904-757-4463
KEY WEST BUTTERFLY & NATURE CONSERVANCY 1316 Duval Street Key West, FL 33040 305-296-2988
LION COUNTRY SAFARI 2003 Lion Country Safari Rd. Loxahatchee, FL 33470 561-793-1084
SARASOTA JUNGLE GARDENS 3701 Bayshore Rd Sarasota, FL 34234 941-355-5305

Some of these locations are natural parks (e.g. the Everglades National Park), allowing you to see Caribbean flamingos in their natural habitat.

Others are botanical jungles or gardens, where they take care of various flamingo species from around the world (e.g. Lesser flamingo, Chilean flamingo, Greater flamingo) not just the Caribbean one.

Some of these places like the Bush Gardens will even allow you to mingle with flamingos, so you can get really close to a flamingo, and not just see it from a distance.

Are There Baby Flamingos in Florida?

Yes, there are baby flamingos in Florida. A few months ago, Discovery Cove announced that a baby flamingo hatched.

While zoos and national parks routinely announce the hatching of baby flamingos, it’s unclear how many baby flamingos are hatching in the wild.

Given the uptick in the wild flamingo population in Florida, it’s safe to assume that at least some baby flamingos are added to the existing population.

The reason why a baby flamingo hatching is such an event is because flamingos are poor breeders. A lot of things need to go right for a flamingo egg to hatch.

First, flamingos need to be part of a large enough group to stimulate breeding. Then, rainfall needs to be at adequate levels to ensure sufficient food availability.

And even when the social and environmental factors are met, flamingos produce a single egg per year.

If anything were to happen to that egg – e.g., it falls out of the mound or gets eaten by a predator – flamingos cannot replace the egg until the next breeding season. This means that the breeding efforts for the entire season are compromised.

Therefore, it’s understandable to rejoice every time at the news of a new flamingo egg hatching.

What Can You Feed Flamingos?

Feeding of wild animals is discouraged as a rule and flamingos are not an exception.

Flamingos feed on red algae, shrimp, crustaceans and other aquatic plants and organisms, which cause their plumage to turn pink.

If you come across a baby flamingo with no adults in sight, you can give it some water and call for help immediately. However, you should not feed it as you may do more harm than good.


While Florida has seen an increase of Caribbean flamingo populations in the wild, their numbers are nowhere near as high as they once were before they were hunted to extinction.

Hopefully, by raising awareness and with sustained conservation efforts we can see a further increase in the native flamingo population of Florida.

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