Caribbean Snapshots: West Indian Flamingos

When viewing these iconic pink birds, it's best to give them some space


The West Indian Flamingo is a ubiquitous image throughout the region. Likenesses of this exquisite bird grace handicrafts, pottery and jewelry sold in shops from Nassau to Aruba. But actually witnessing a flock of pink flamingo overhead is a rare occasion.

These shy birds seek out quiet habitats, and are usually found near briny lakes. No longer hunted for plumage and meat, these birds are not endangered, but there are just a few colonies scattered throughout the islands.

Islands for flamingo sightings include Bonaire, Great Inagua in the Bahamas and Cuba. Flamingos are gregarious and find comfort in numbers, but when approached by humans they quickly begin to squawk like geese and fly away.