The American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large species of flamingo closely related to the greater flamingo and Chilean flamingo. It was formerly considered conspecific with the greater flamingo, but that treatment is now widely viewed (e.g. by the American and British Ornithologists' Unions) as incorrect due to a lack of evidence. It is also known as the Caribbean flamingo, although it is present in the Galápagos Islands. In Cuba, it is also known as the greater flamingo. It is the only flamingo that naturally inhabits North America.
The plastic lawn flamingo, designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone, is a popular garden ornament in the United States, rivaling the garden gnome in popularity.
American flamingo in "The Garden Gnome Freedom Front"[edit | edit source]
Wild flamingos roamed the marshes of Florida, calling out mournfully to their captive cousins, who were made of plastic and kept in the suburban gardens of humans. Unlike garden gnomes, lawn flamingos could not even leave their gardens during a full moon. Over in France, Professor Gottfried, an educated garden gnome, was convinced that the lawn flamingos were an oppressed race, and that they could be set free with a powerful Seminole magic. With the help of the Garden Gnome Freedom Front, Gottfried, along with gnomes Karl and Gretchen, boarded a cargo plane from Paris to Miami, where they began their mission of liberation.
Gottfried had previously informed Freedom Front founder Alizon Riand of his mission to save the Phoenicopterids, using the birds' scientific name. Alizon was confused as to what "phony copterids" were, and how they differed from genuine "copterids."