A nagging question that I never really articulated… but the answer popped up on my internet browsing one lazy Sunday afternoon:
Are flamingos really native to Florida, and if so, why don’t I ever see them?
Well, it turns out, I just wasn’t looking hard enough. Details? Lots.
John James Audubon himself saw flamingos in 1832 near Indian Key, an island off Islamorada, in the Upper Keys.
Far away to seaward we spied a flock of Flamingoes advancing in “Indian line,” with well-spread wings, outstretched necks, and long legs directed backwards. Ah! reader, could you but know the emotions that then agitated my breast!
Is the flamingo your spirit animal? (I promise, I am not rolling my eyes. I lie.)
Flamingos have been made into chandeliers, poolside beverage coolers, and ceiling fan pulls. I saw one as a carousel “horse” and another as a toilet paper roll holder. Flamingos are happy birds.
For a much wittier “look” (well, “listen”, it’s a podcast) here’s the incomparable Craig Pittman talking with flamingo researcher Tony Pernas.