The story of flamingos in Florida is one that most people don’t know. For decades, South Florida has been linked with these graceful, rose-colored beaked friends. Flamingos are endemic to central and south America but like the vast majority of birds that we can spot here, they are migratory, wading birds that spend their winters in paradise (like so many of the tourists that visit Bike and Roll).
It’s no surprise that the infamous plastic lawn flamingos are so popular, not only in Miami, but throughout the nation! Donald Featherstone, the silent creator of the ornament, came up with the design (along with hundreds of others) in 1957 when he worked for Union Products. In an interview in 2006, Featherstone said:
” ‘They asked me to work on a duck, so I went to buy a real duck to study. I named him Charlie. When I had the plastic duck done, set him free in Cogshall Park. They then asked me to do a flamingo…you can’t go locally and buy a flamingo, so I got some books, and one that had some good shots was National Geographic. I made the silhouette, then put on the clay and that’s how it all got started.'”
Rest in Piece, Donald Featherstone! Your legacy will not soon be forgotten.