Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

Looking for flamingos around Ravenna

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According to the latest censuses conducted along the coasts of the upper Adriatic Sea, more than 10,000 flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) are present in the maritime portion of Romagna each year, about half of them in the territory of Ravenna. Mostly migratory but with an increasingly pronounced sedentary and nesting vocation, these beautiful “pink” birds have long since become a typical species in the area and the number of specimen is continuously increasing.

Thanks in part to environmental and land protection policies, in just a few years they have increased by a third and the positive trend seems to be continuing. So much so that by now the Po Delta basin is almost saturated with these beautiful animals that have found an ideal place here, almost no predators (including man, who at other times also fed on these birds) and perfect conditions for establishing some of the Mediterranean’s most numerous colonies.

Fenicotteri in volo

But flamingos, which today are among the symbols of the Po Delta Park, have not always been there. When the park institution was founded in 1988, black-winged stilts, a widespread and highly recognizable species representative of the local fauna, was chosen as its symbol. A flamingo would perhaps have been more “iconic” but … it simply was not there at the time!

The first specimens were spotted in the early 1990s, as migrants from southern France. Numbers gradually increased, and by 2000 the first nestings were recorded. Today 99% of the flamingos in the Po Delta area nest in the old Comacchio salt pans and occupy all available brackish areas throughout the year.

Thanks to the considerable concentration of salt in these areas, a tiny pink crustacean responsible for the distinctive coloration of their plumage, known as artemia salina, abounds.

In nesting areas, it is possible to witness the show of the young specimens, with white or grey coats, still unfit for flight, who are gathered in “nurseries” and cared for by some adults while the others go in search of food. In the same areas, in spring, with any luck, it is possible to witness a kind of group dance, part of a complex courtship ritual, that has been reflected on the shallow placid waters since time immemorial.


Fenicotteri Tramonto

The best areas in which to observe flamingos, in the territory of Ravenna, are the Southern Lagoons of Comacchio and Pialassa Baiona, that is in the lagoon areas north of the city. Here, thousands of them can be spotted all year round, in varying numbers depending on the severity of the climate.

Another special area, especially in summer, is the brackish area between the Pine forest of Classe and the sea. Close to the trees, just north of the Acquara drainage, is a watchtower offering a stunning view of the Ortazzo and Ortazzino, as well as the last bends of the Bevano river. Another birdwatching turret is located on the opposite bank of the river, along the roadway via Fosso Ghiaia.


It is always possible to go in search of flamingos on one’s own, but for a more complete visit, guided by environmental experts, you can contact the NatuRa Museum of Sant’Albert0, which periodically organizes excursions in the Pialassa or in the lagoons. The beautiful “Bike excursion among pink flamingos” takes place all year round. Equally stunning are the various summer canoe trips allowing you to get even closer to the specimens in their natural habitats.

Pedalata dei fenicotteri al tramonto

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