Who doesn’t love a flamingo? With their unique coloring and even more interesting penchant for balancing on one leg, flamingos are one of those animals that everyone wants to get to see in their lifetime.
There are many places outside of a zoo where you can go and visit flamingos in the wild, one of these locations being the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia.
Avid bird watchers and tourists alike flock to the island, particularly the nature reserve near Forte Village Resort to glimpse these exotic animals.
But you may be asking yourself whether flamingos are native to the island of Sardinia, or if they were brought in later from a different habitat.
Well, wonder no longer as we dive into the history and answer whether or not flamingos are native to Sardinia.
Where Can You Find Flamingos In Sardinia?
There are wild flamingos all around the island, both near the ocean and by rivers and other bodies of water. These are a natural attraction, which makes them easy enough to spot.
The most recommended location to guarantee that you get to see these marvelous creatures is the Chia Lagoon, which is a protected natural reserve.
The birds here have easy access to their food source, and the land is protected from environmental development plans or deforestation.
When Can You Expect To See Flamingos In Sardinia?
There are plenty of different ways to experience the flamingos in Sardinia, depending on what time of the year you’re visiting.
If you’re visiting in the spring, then you might be able to spot the males performing their so-called Dance of Love.
During this dance, the male flamingos will try to woo the hearts of the females to mate. This is quite a sight to behold, and once you’ve seen the graceful choreography, you’ll understand why their mating ritual is named after the Spanish dance.
During the summer is when you’ll see the birds nesting and baby chicks start to hatch. This is a very special time for the birds and is wonderful to watch. The baby flamingos are so fluffy, it’ll melt your heart!
In autumn, the birds can be difficult to pin down whilst they fly to greener and warmer areas of the island so that they can remain comfortable all throughout the year (not that they ever really have to worry about the cold).
Finally, in winter, you will see flamingos huddling in smaller groups near large bodies of water.
For example, they might crowd around the ponds of Cabral, near Santa Giusta, or by the previously mentioned Chia Lagoon.
Whatever time of year you’re able to get to Sardinia, you will be able to view the animals in prominent and easy-to-get-to locations.
Are Flamingos Native To Sardinia
Although it is nearly impossible to track the exact origins of any animal, we know that flamingos have been on the island of Sardinia for a very long time.
In fact, there is evidence that points to flamingos being present on the island as far back as 23-79 AD because Pliny the Elder wrote about these specific birds in his Naturalis Historia (Natural History).
Sardinian People have been known to call Flamingos “Sa Genti Arrubia” which literally means “red people” because flamingos are just as much the residents of the island as the humans are.
There are plenty of reasons why flamingos have settled in Sardinia, but the answer mostly lies in the climate plus the food supply.
Because of the natural bodies of water such as lakes and lagoons and because of the shellfish population, flamingos are able to get everything that they need from the island.
For example, the red shellfish that flamingos need to give them their nutrients, as well as their pink coloring, are found in abundance around the Sardinian coast.
What Other Animals Are Found In Sardinia?
Although the island is relatively small, there are nearly 400 different species that can be found in the region.
Something that is very interesting is because this region has been its own island for millions of years, some animals have evolved separately from their natural ancestors, making them unique and rare.
For example, the Sardinian wild boar, Sardinian fox, and Sardinian Hare are all examples of animals that are distinct from their mainland counterparts (though not really in ways that we can observe from the outside).
Whether you like birds, mammals, or reptiles, there are plenty of different animals that you can spot whilst visiting Sardinia, and local guides will be able to advise you on the best times and places to find all of these different species.
One of the most fascinating that the island has to offer is some of Europe’s last wild horses, which can be found on the Giara plateau and are generally smaller than most other mainland horse species.
What About In The Sea?
There is an abundance of marine life in Sardinia, and you don’t have to venture far into the sea in order to find some beautiful and fascinating creatures.
For example, you can take a tour from Banchina Rafael Catardi and watch playful dolphins frolic in the ocean all throughout the summer months.
Or instead, you could find a diving center to take you out to one of 40 different dive sites around the coast and explore the depths. There you might come across lobsters, barracudas, and even magnificent octopuses.
In The Sky
As well as flamingos, Sardinia is home to many different bird species that range from sparrows to stunning Griffon Vultures – Europe’s second-largest bird. Other types of falcons, hawks, and kestrels can be found overhead all around the island.
If you’re any kind of birdwatcher, be sure to bring some binoculars and a notebook!
The Different Kinds Of Flora
We’ve spoken a lot about the fauna of the island, but the flora is also a sight to behold.
If you’re a wannabe botanist, you’re going to love the different species of plants that you can find across the island.
In particular, there is a region known as Supramonte. This is a vast area spanning highlands, mountains, and forests. There are gigantic juniper plants, and fragrant Peonies, as well as a massive amount of interesting geology.
A company called “Wild Sardinia” organizes trekking excursions in the area during which they will give you the heads up on points of interest and useful information.
Flamingos are just one of the incredible species of animal that can be found on Sardinia. The island itself hosts many fascinating species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and marine life.
Even if you’re not a hiker, you should be prepared to make some treks out to visit and view some of the amazing wildlife that lives almost undisturbed across the island.
Just be sure to discuss with a guide and information you need to know and which areas are protected so that you don’t end up doing any harm to the environment.