Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The First Flamingo Census in Florida

Please report any American Flamingo sightings in Florida from February 18 to 25 (photo by Lisa Sproat).

Beginning last September, many birders caught a level of flamingo fever after Hurricane Idalia “blew” dozens of American Flamingos north into Florida and scattered locations across the eastern half of the United States. Now, a research team wants to determine how many flamingos remain in the Sunshine State and they are calling on all interested people to report the flamingos they see from February 18th to 25th. This effort is being coordinated through the Florida Flamingo Working Group as part of larger effort being coordinated by the Caribbean Flamingo Conservation Group.

The Florida Flamingo Working Group is a coalition of biologists and conservationists who are interested in the conservation and recovery of American Flamingos in Florida. Flamingos formerly lived and nested in Florida, but the species has been largely absent for more than a century. With small groups of “hurricane flamingos” still being reported in Florida, there is the hope that some flamingos will remain and begin a nesting population. This initial flamingo census will help Working Group members to better understand the present locations and numbers of flamingos, so they can monitor their activities with the hope that some will continue to find Florida habitats attractive.

Use binoculars, a spotting scope, or a camera with a telephoto lens to record their presence from a safe distance that will not disturb flamingos. Interested birders should seek out flamingos any time from February 18th to 25th, then report your sightings by filling out a short, simple form at Flamingos in Florida (