Flamingos Have Been Spotted From Florida To Ohio After Being Blown Off Course Due To Hurricane Idalia

Photos by: Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

Rare sightings in the United States have bird enthusiasts buzzing as flamingos have been spotted throughout Florida, Alabama, South and North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia after being thrown off course by Hurricane Idalia.

Experts believe that the birds were traveling between Central America and the Caribbean when the storm struck, causing them to fly north.

Soon after, photos of these iconic pink birds were flooding social media, with many excited to catch a glimpse of them before they traveled back to their native lands.

Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, was contacted by SPCA Tampa Bay Animal Shelter after they rescued a flamingo off of St. Pete Beach. The sanctuary’s staff prepared for their arrival, and upon examination, their staff determined that the flamingo is in overall good condition, but is clearly exhausted.

“We have begun supportive care and have consulted our friends at Owls Nest Sanctuary For Wildlife and Busch Gardens to ensure that the bird receives the highest quality of care. We are hopeful that our pink friend will be able to be reunited with one of the flocks as soon as possible, and will only need a short stay with us,” stated Seaside Seabird Sanctuary.

Globally, the American flamingo is widely found throughout the Caribbean, with breeding populations found in Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas. They are considered non-migratory birds but can easily fly long distances when needed.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, flamingos were once native to Florida but disappeared from the state around the turn of the 20th century due to overhunting for their meat, eggs, and the feather industry, virtually wiping them out. After 1925, people started captive colonies of flamingos in South Florida, including a breeding colony at Hialeah Park Race Track in the 1930s, which still remains today.

“Storms like Hurricane Idalia have a tendency to bring in unusual species to our area, and it is likely that the flocks of flamingos spotted in our area came from Cuba,” continued Seaside Seabird Sanctuary. “It is best to give these birds as much space as possible and to not disturb or flush them. It is unclear how long they will stay in our area, so enjoy this opportunity ethically and responsibly!”

Please consider donating to Seaside Seabird Sanctuary to help them not only care for their rare flamingo patient, but also for other wildlife rescues in need, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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