NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Surprising Origin of American Flamingos Discovered

National Geographic: Written by Liz Langley. March 10, 2018.

Few of us Floridians are native to the state. Even our emblematic flamingos were widely thought to be escapees from captivity—until now.

A new study sheds new light on a long-standing controversy by suggesting flamingos are indeed true residents of the Sunshine State.

There are six species of flamingo, and the American, or greater, flamingo is found in Florida. The bird also lives in the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America.

"During the 1800s, it was commonly accepted that [flamingos] were native," says study leader Steven M. Whitfield, a conservation ecologist at Zoo Miami's Conservation and Research Department.

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