Can You Eat Flamingos? Is It Legal? How Do Flamingos Taste Like?

No, you cannot eat flamingos. 

If the question had been whether flamingos are edible, then the answer would have been a yes, but otherwise, flamingos are not to be eaten. 


Because all the countries are spending large amounts of money on saving wildlife. The law prohibits eating flamingos. 

What Does Flamingo Meat Taste Like?

Today, flamingos are not legally allowed as food, so there is no definite answer. But if you listen to meat experts, they must taste like a duck, not anything like a chicken or usual meat. 

As per John Gonzalez from Kansas State University, flamingos eat algae, shrimps, insects, small fishes, and other seafood. 

They fly large distances, so they are fitted with thin muscles. Their meat must be fishy with rich omega-3 acids. 

Related Read: What Do Flamingos Eat? ( All About Flamingo Food Habits And Facts )

History of Flamingo As Food

Flamingos were served as a luxury food in ancient Roman times. A recipe states that the meat was boiled with vinegar, leek, coriander, dill, and grape syrup. 

A sauce would accompany the cooked flamingo with asafoetida, mint, pepper, boiled wine, starch, cooking liquor, coriander, dates, cumin, and rue. The recipe depicts the taste as a specially fine one. 

The tongue of the bird is talked about even in present times. But it contains a large amount of fat, which needs to be boiled and trimmed to make a fine piece of cuisine. It was an ancient time, and since then, people have been curious if flamingos are still eaten.  

Is Flamingo Meat Pink?

This question usually hails from the myth that flamingos are entirely pink, so their meat must be pink. But it is not true. “You become what you eat” fits flamingos perfectly. 

Usually, their meat is white and red, but it may look pink, because of eating the shrimp. It depends on their diet.

Is Flamingo Tongue Edible?

Eating any bird’s tongue was considered a luxury in ancient times. People didn’t even leave their tongues and used to cook them in various ways. 

So, flamingo’s tongue was also a part of the luxury cuisine. It was a delicacy, where they trimmed the tongue of fat, boiled, skinned, and cooked in rich flavors. 

Can you Eat A Flamingo Egg?

You can, but you shouldn’t unless you want to end up in prison. Flamingo is a protected bird, and laying a hand on its egg is not advisable. 

Flamingos lay one egg which is incubated for at least a month and then hatched for a day and a half. Both the parents feed the baby a milky substance after its hatching. 

So, it is illegal to eat such an egg so loved by Flamingo parents.  

Related Read: Do Flamingos Eat Shrimp? Are Shrimps Good And Safe For Them?

Is Flamingo Meat Poisonous?

Many people are confused on this front. But the answer is no; flamingo meat is not poisonous. Yes, they eat a lot of things that won’t make you drool, but their meat is perfectly edible and won’t land you in a hospital.  

Why Is It Illegal To Eat Flamingos? 

Flamingos are protected birds. In the US, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects them and forbids capturing, killing, trading, or eating flamingos. 

You cannot even import them to sell them as pets. Even if you want to keep a flamingo pet, you need a license. The law also covers their nest and eggs. 

So, if you destroy their nest or eat a flamingo egg, prison will be waiting. 

The treaty also covers several thousand birds that cannot be killed, sold, or eaten. The reason is that they are wild birds, and wild birds are better off in the wild. 

The increasing awareness of the protection of wildlife has triggered these changes. 

Related Read: Do Windmill Kill Birds? | How Many Birds Are Killed By Windmills And Wind Turbines?

Where Is It Illegal To Eat Flamingos?

Several countries don’t allow eating flamingos other than the US.

In Canada, the Migratory Birds Convention Act protects these pink birds. 

In India, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 states the law for their protection.

Several countries around the globe have also signed CITES, i.e., Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This convention protects flamingos and prohibits killing or eating them.  

The member countries include the USA, Nigeria, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, Canada, Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco, Germany, India, Norway, Australia, UK, Paraguay, and several others. 

Which Countries Allow Eating Flamingos?

When most countries are working towards wildlife protection, some countries like Thailand and China sell flamingo meats in the open market. 

Recently, some Italians were also detained for having flamingos as a feast. In Venezuela, hungry people started feasting on the beautiful pink birds even though it is illegal there. 

Caribbeans are also not far behind these countries when it comes to eating flamingos.   

Where Can I Buy Flamingo Meat?

Though in Europe, South America, Australia, and North America, you won’t find restaurants selling flamingo meat, it is available in Asian markets of China and Thailand.  

Can I Legally Kill And Sell The Meat Of Flamingos?

The answer is no. It is illegal, and you can’t do it unless you are in the above-mentioned Asian countries. In most countries, you need special permission to keep a living flamingo as a pet, let alone kill it and sell its meat. 

Related Read: Where Do Flamingos Live? | Flamingo’s Habitat And Ecosystem

What Are Some Flamingo Cooked Recipes?

In ancient Rome, flamingo meat was a status symbol. Those who could afford it could eat it. 

The flamingo recipes in ancient Rome date back to the 5th century. In a cookbook named Apicius, there is a reference to a recipe. 

It required cleaning the bird meat, which was only a tiny portion, thanks to its thin muscles intended for long-distance flights. Then boil it with vinegar, leek, dill, coriander, and grape juice, to give it a nice color. 

The meat is served in a thick and rich sauce of vinegar, pepper, coriander, cumin, leek, cooking liquor, mint, starch, rue, boiled wine, dates, and a pinch of asafoetida. 

Flamingo tongue has also come up in quite a few searches as Romans were keen on eating that little piece of meat. Yes, as per chefs, if you want to cook a flamingo tongue, it will only be a little piece of meat which won’t be worth the hard work of cleaning it and cooking it.


The article summarises that even if you can eat flamingos, you should not because they are protected birds. 

Besides, there are lots of things in the world to eat. These are not the ancient times when you needed to eat a flamingo tongue to declare your supremacy. 

Hunting them will land you in prison. So admire them, click pictures, if you wish, but don’t think about having them for dinner.

Intro Video - Backtobirds
Intro Video - Backtobirds