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Look What The Storm Blew In: FLAMINGOS


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Bianca
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« on: September 12, 2008, 10:22:02 am »









                                          Look what the storm blew in: Flamingos



                                          Flamingos sighted on Gulf Coast beaches







By KAT BERGERON -
kbergeron
@sunherald.com 
 

Flamingos? On the Mississippi Coast?



Yep. The big, funny-looking pink birds are visiting, with credit given to the spate of hurricanes. One spotter said the flamingos look like "pink missiles" in the air.

Mississippi's first recorded sightings of the greater flamingo continue to send the curious to the beach in search of birds, which stand at least 4 feet tall with a wingspan beyond 6 feet. They are usually in warmer tropical climates but biologists believe these flew here ahead of the storms.

The first known Coast sighting was in Pascagoula the day Tropical Storm Fay didn't hit. The second sighting was two days after Gustav. The most recent weekend sightings in Waveland, however, are of only one bird.

The flamingo story begins Aug. 24 when the family of Pascagoulan Pete Floyd was gathered on their deck, which overlooks the Sound.

"My son said, 'Dad, look at those flamingos,' and, disbelieving, we all turned to look," said Floyd, a naturalist/artist. "They were flying east above Beach Boulevard."

Floyd, who'd seen flamingos in Florida as a boy, was certain that's what these were, but he faced skeptics who thought he mistook them for roseate spoonbills, also pink.

Then came the post-Gustav sightings.

"We saw the first flamingos last Tuesday morning, in the air around Henderson Point, flying east," said Scott Gordon, oyster bureau director for Department of Marine Resources. "They look like a pink missile, the way they fly with their legs behind them."

The DMR crew continued to Bayou Caddy to check storm damage, then Gordon headed to the Biloxi office via Beach Boulevard.

In Long Beach, Gordon grabbed his video camera after spotting the pink birds standing in the surf, looking like pink plastic yard art.

When Jan Dubuisson of Mississippi Coast Audubon Society heard the flamingo rumors, she headed to the Pass Christian beach that evening. With binoculars, she saw they had no identifying leg bands.

"My first thought was that they'd escaped from a zoo, but the experts have decided they are wild flamingos," Dubuisson said. "We now know there were sightings in Destin and Fort Walton after Fay. We don't know if these are the same ones.

"Biologists say they will be able to find their way back home to Cuba, the Everglades, the Keys, or wherever they are from. They also said there is enough food here for them."

Flamingos use their tongues to suck up water and filter out tiny crustacea as food. Although there may have been previous great flamingo sightings in Mississippi, these are the first to be officially recorded with the state's Bird Records Committee.

Dubuisson, however, wonders how long the flamingo will stay.

"It's third-hand, but I got a report that a man caught two boys in Waveland throwing rocks at the bird," she said. "That is pathetic."
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 10:26:46 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 10:24:30 am »









John Wilkerson / This flamingo was fishing the shallow waters off the beach in Waveland on Saturday.





VIDEO:



http://www.sunherald.com/local/story/801077.html
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 10:26:13 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 10:28:54 am »




             
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Bianca
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2008, 10:30:26 am »




                       
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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2008, 10:31:45 am »




             
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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