Pink Flamingo Day was declared in 2007 by Dean Mazzaralla, the mayor of Leominster, MA to honor the work of Don Featherstone, creator of the plastic lawn flamingo.
Don Featherstone created the iconic piece in 1957 while working for Union Products. He based his design on photographs of flamingos from National Geographic because he was unable to get real flamingos to use as 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 actual 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. Flamingos are pink because of carotenoids (naturally occurring pigments) in the food they eat (shrimp, algae, and plankton) and 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, fabulous and very very pink birds.