Hurricane Idalia brought flamingos to Florida, the eastern US and even Ohio. Scientists hope they will stay

The first places other than Waynesville, Ohio that come to mind when you think about flamingos are presumably watering spots in Africa, the Caribbean, or Florida.

Jacob Roalef hurried to view the flamingos at Ceasar Creek State Park, close to Dayton, after reading Facebook posts about them last week.

Birdwatching tour guide Roalef told CNN, “I hurriedly got my stuff, alerted my wife, and was out the door. When he arrived, he noticed two birds in the lake: an adult and a juvenile.

Hurricane Idalia brought flamingos to Florida, the eastern US and even Ohio. Scientists hope they will stay

“The flamingos were just hanging out and sleeping in about a foot of water near the shore,” Roalef remarked. If a gull flew overhead, they might stir and drink some water or gaze up.

According to him, the birds remained there until around 6 o’clock, when a dog scared them away.

Since Hurricane Idalia passed through, reports of flamingo sightings have been coming in from all around Florida, as well as Georgia, the Carolinas, Texas, Kentucky, and many other locations, according to Jerry Lorenz, the state director of research for Audubon Florida.

He hypothesizes that the storm caused the birds to be diverted while they were en route between Cuba and the Yucatan.

“It’s just really surprising that if you follow the path of Idalia, it (the sightings) really does kind of fall out to the north and south of that central track,” he said of the phenomenon.

The number of birds who flew north because of the storm is unknown to Lorenz because they are still combing through the data, but it is far higher than typical.

Lorenz remarked, “We have never seen anything like this. We occasionally see flamingos after storms, but this is truly unprecedented.

A flock of 17 flamingos were seen strolling in the surf and dining on the beach at Treasure Island, close to St. Petersburg, Florida, according to boat skipper Vinnie Fugett.

Around nightfall, the birds finished their meal and took flight.

Despite spending all of his life in this area, Fugett claimed to have never seen a flamingo there.

Because of everything the flamingos have been through, Lorenz asked people to give them plenty of space.

These birds are currently under stress. No matter how you look at it, they simply through a terrible trauma, he added. Therefore, enjoy their presence rather than approaching them closely enough to surprise, terrify, or do anything else.

Although flamingos are endemic to Florida, they were nearly exterminated there around the start of the 20th century because of the demand for their exquisite feathers, which were used in hats and other items of clothing.

Although the flamingo population has been increasing globally, the majority of those in Florida were thought to be descendants of birds that fled from various animal attractions.

Scientists have recently observed flamingos that have flown in from the Bahamas, Yucatan, and Cuba.

Flamingos can travel thousands of miles over open ocean, so the Ohio birds shouldn’t have any trouble returning home when it becomes too cold for them, according to Lorenz.

He has been collaborating with a team of specialists to rehabilitate the Everglades and the Florida Keys and establish suitable habitats for flamingos.

“Maybe these birds will feel more at ease and, we’ll have a population again, and people can come to South Florida and come to the Florida Keys and actually see flamingos in the wild,” he suggested.

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