Thursday 24 September 2020

Flamingos put in rare appearance in the Netherlands

The Pijnacker flamingos. Photo: David Dilling

A nature reserve near Pijnacker, a village between Rotterdam and The Hague, has become a temporary home to a small group of flamingos.

Walkers spotted the birds on Tuesday and since then birdwatchers from all over the country have descended on the area to photograph the rare guests.

‘This is very, very unusual for the region. In all my time recording animal species here I have never seen anything like it,’ warden Cor Noorman told local broadcaster Omroep West.

Noorman said the animals are not escapees from zoos. ‘There are six Chilean flamingos and one European flamingo and they probably came here from a roosting place near Germany.’

Noorman said the birds may not stay for very long. ‘They could be elsewhere tomorrow. We have to enjoy them while we can.’

The birds meanwhile have not been frightened off by the number of twitchers hoping for a good shot. ‘They photograph well,’ one of them told the broadcaster. ‘You can find flamingos in the Algarve but they are shy and fly off. These bird are just quietly going about their business of finding food and don’t mind us at all.’

In 2015, a colony of about 50 flamingos moved into the Grevelingenmeer in Zeeland for the winter rather than moving on to warmer climes in Africa.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.