A 'pink wave' of flamingos is settling in the Sunshine State

When Hurricane Idalia tore through Florida's Big Bend region in August 2023, the storm brought more than rapid intensification, waves and wind. It had a pair of pink wings. Flamingos probably came to the United States from Mexico or the Bahamas. These boisterous birds have been spotted even as far north as possible Wisconsin And Pennsylvania. In the Sunshine State, they appear to have lingered for several months after the storm.

Florida Audubon recently released the Results from February's American Flamingo count and counted about 100 sightings across the state. The largest group of more than 50 birds was spotted in Florida Bay, 18 were seen near Pine Island and 14 were seen at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. More participants reported seeing the birds in one week than at any time since the early 1990s.

“We are thrilled that there are flamingos that remain in Florida after being blown here by Hurricane Idalia in 2023. I actually suspect that 100 flamingos make up the bottom line of this new population, and there may be more that weren't counted during the week-long survey. We continuously monitor flamingo breeding,” said Jerry Lorenz, Audubon Florida research director said in a recent statement.

[Related: Why flamingo milk is pink.]

American flamingos are the tallest birds in the US, which can grow up to five feet in length and weigh about five to six pounds. They mainly eat algae, small seeds, small crustaceans and aquatic plants. The bright pink birds are also synonymous with Florida's sunny image and state identity, even appearing as the state lottery mascot.

“I think it's because they are so visually stunning,” says the author said Rick Kilby The Washington Post. “The brilliant salmon pink color, the black beak, it's almost as if someone painted them.” Kirby has been documenting images of Florida before interstates and theme parks for years.

Flamingos were native to the state and were mainly found around the swampy Everglades and the beautiful Florida Keys. The shallow and salty mud flats in Florida Bay, located between the Keys and the mainland, suit their nesting and feeding preferences. according to Audubon Florida.

Until the 19th century, about a thousand birds lived in these areas. One emerged during the plume trade in the 19th century ounces of their feathers were worth more than gold. This decimated wading bird populations in southern Florida. Legislation was passed protect the birds in the mid-20th century and Audubon employed guards to keep an eye on them, but the extensive draining and ditching of the Everglades further destroyed their habitat.

Audubon Florida is hopeful that conservation efforts in the United States will continue with the appropriate nickname 'River of Grass', The Everglades' protected wetlands and improved water flow will ensure there is enough critical habitat for the flamingos that arrived with Hurricane Idalia to survive and thrive in the area.

“We are optimistic that these birds will stay, simply because the habitat is ready and because there are so many wild flamingos now (worldwide). Their numbers have made a huge comeback since they were nearly driven to extinction in the early 20th century (when) there were only three nesting populations.” Lorenz told South Florida The news press.

[Related: Miami suburb turns to vasectomies to solve its peacock problem.]

Biologists at the University of Miami are also studying the genomes of all of them six of the world's flamingo species and monitor populations as far away as South America. Thanks to the large wingspan of the American flamingos (about one and a half meters), they can cover distances very quickly. Some can travel more than 300 miles in one day.

“Flamingos have a great dispersal ability to travel far, but their movements are not as predictable as those of other birds with regular annual migrations,” said Alexis Oscar Diaz Campo, a graduate student from Miami. said in a statement. Diaz added that where the birds end up landing ultimately depends on the availability of shallow lakes.

Audubon urges bird watchers give flamingos their space. If your presence affects their movement or behavior in any way, you are too close. They encourage the use of binoculars or a zoom lens to view these colorful birds from a safe distance.

Related Posts

Social media platforms should have health warnings for teens, US surgeon general says

Social media platforms should post warning labels, similar to those now used on cigarette packs, for teens who are increasingly suffering from mental health issues linked in part to the…

  • Technology
  • June 17, 2024
  • 3 views
  • 14 minutes Read
Can we prevent a bird flu pandemic in humans?

A highly pathogenic subtype of avian influenza (or bird flu), known as H5N1 is spreading among animals worldwide. For the past couple of decades, global health agencies have kept tabs…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

MLB City Connect: All 28 uniforms ranked, from the so-so to the sublime

  • June 17, 2024
MLB City Connect: All 28 uniforms ranked, from the so-so to the sublime

Can Spending Time in Nature Help Cure Addiction?

  • June 17, 2024
Can Spending Time in Nature Help Cure Addiction?

Successful trial for new treatment for colorectal cancer

  • June 17, 2024
Successful trial for new treatment for colorectal cancer

Social media platforms should have health warnings for teens, US surgeon general says

  • June 17, 2024
Social media platforms should have health warnings for teens, US surgeon general says

Filmmaker David Lynch plays a game of Wild Card: NPR

  • June 17, 2024
Filmmaker David Lynch plays a game of Wild Card: NPR

US Military Health Deserts; Tony Awards Takeaways: NPR

  • June 17, 2024
US Military Health Deserts;  Tony Awards Takeaways: NPR

Euro 2024 schedule, standings, scores, live stream: how to watch Ukraine play Romania and France play later

  • June 17, 2024
Euro 2024 schedule, standings, scores, live stream: how to watch Ukraine play Romania and France play later

Can we prevent a bird flu pandemic in humans?

  • June 17, 2024
Can we prevent a bird flu pandemic in humans?

Elektrische voertuigen komen naar voren als brandpunt bij de verkiezingen van 2024

  • June 17, 2024
Elektrische voertuigen komen naar voren als brandpunt bij de verkiezingen van 2024

Carl Maughan, Kansas lawmaker arrested in March, has had his law license suspended due to conflict of interest in murder case

  • June 17, 2024
Carl Maughan, Kansas lawmaker arrested in March, has had his law license suspended due to conflict of interest in murder case

Why do we get weather-related headaches? Explain weather whiplash

  • June 17, 2024
Why do we get weather-related headaches?  Explain weather whiplash