Monday, December 11

Rare flamingo sighting in South Florida likely result of Hurricane Idalia

Another sign from Hurricane Idalia’s aftermath walked up on the Jupiter sandbar in all its glory. Tom Koehler shot this video confirming what experts believe is the first documented sighting of the species in the wild in South Florida because of the storm.

It’s a rare sighting when you consider this.

“Ninety-five percent of flamingos that are spotted here in Florida you would find in the Everglades,” Michele Dzama, a wildlife lead keeper at Lion Country Safari, told WPTV.

She said this is more than unique. It’s breathtaking given that it appears Mother Nature ruffled a few feathers.

“Most likely it’s due to the hurricane,” Dzama said. “Flamingos aren’t particularly a migratory bird. They generally stay close. Usually, the only time they’ll really do a migration is if the climate has changed or the water levels have changed.”

The birds were spotted along Florida’s west coast days after Idalia’s impact. Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach and Fort De Soto all saw flocks converge. Audubon Florida said for the first time in nearly a century, Floridians are seeing flamingos and we’re not the only ones.

“From Ohio to Pennsylvania into Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, pretty much up the eastern seaboard,” Dzama said.

In fact, boat tour operators are collecting more than just pictures. The sightings have been spectacular.

“I got a little bit closer and [saw] their long kegs and it was 17 flamingos walking along the beach in Treasure Island,” boat captain Vinnie Fugett said.

Now Palm Beach County joins the growing list with an iconic sandbar offering a true touch of pink from a new visitor to paradise.

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