20,000 flamingos take San Crisanto by surprise

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Along with the noble t’ho, flamingos are Yucatán’s most beloved bird. They can be seen in Celestún, Sisal, and Río Lagartos in great numbers, but smaller groups can also be seen around Progreso and Telchac. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

An estimated 20,000 flamingos have descended on the swamps and mangroves of San Crisanto, Yucatán, to begin their nesting season. 

The arrival of such large numbers of flamingos in the area is unusual, as the pink birds usually choose Ría Lagartos this time of year. 

Locals speculate that the busy summer tourist season in Ría Lagartos may have provoked the flamingos to look elsewhere. 

The impressive display has attracted a great number of human visitors, but environmental authorities are warning people not to get too close because flamingos in the wild are easily startled.  

Earlier: A colorful new book contains the most mesmerizing images of Yucatán’s pink flamingos

Flamingos get their distinctive pigmentation from eating algae containing carotenoid pigments, which are also present in other animals such as shrimp. 

The best way to see flamingos in large numbers is to take a boat tour around the mangroves of Yucatán’s coast. Just don’t get too close. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Pink flamingos are native to the Yucatán Peninsula but are known to move across the northern coast from Celestún to El Cuyó throughout the year. 

“It is imperative that we do everything in our power to make sure that this amazing species always feel welcome on Yucatán’s shore,” said Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal. “After all, it belongs to them as well.”

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