Pretty, Pink, and Alone

Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

Once secure in the fold of family and friend

Curiosity cleverly called from afar

So in depth of darkness her wings did ascend

Over wonders of waves to a world never seen

Seeking pools of pleasure with which to blend

Through clouds of dawn deepest desire found

Gracious grasses gathered near water azure

Where an avian artistry of species abound

Yet seeking and searching the scene so dear

Neither matron nor mate waited around

Sustenance she sought for the hunger inside

Then she settled in and began sifting the silt

Thinking of moist morsels, once eyed

Through weeks of sun and mud she toiled for food

I’m lonely for the comforts of home, she cried

The emptiness within seemed too much to bear

No brother, no sister, no sweetheart came near

“I’ll go back,” she decided and took to the air

Through velvet void the Southern Cross as her guide

Pink feathers bedraggled; soul full of despair

Through rain-troubled clouds she flew until spying below

A blush of rose-dotted bushes bursting with life

“Will they love me?” She descended and honked a hello

The flamingo flock answered with a chorus of cheers

Received with love, home again, pink heart now aglow.

Got an Itch

Got an Itch

Residents of my little piece of South Florida have had a real treat recently. A lone Greater Flamingo spent a couple of weeks in one of our local wetlands. The most common flamingo worldwide, their appearance in the United States is rare. Breeding in the Bahamas, West Indies, and Yucatan, they occasionally visit our southern shores. Social birds, they nest in colonies of up to 10,000, usually mate for life, and share parenting duties. Once the lone chick, or two, develops feathers, the fledglings join a group called a crèche so their parents and other members of the colony can watch over them. The colony provides a measure of safety. Flamingos completely submerge their heads in muddy water to feed so an aware neighbor who can sound an alarm when a predator approaches is a necessity. Peaceful, but skittish, flamingos will fly away if disturbed. They choose to migrate at night.

Shake it up Baby

Shake it up Baby

Bad Feather Day

Bad Feather Day

Portable Pillow

Portable Pillow

This is the first flamingo I have seen outside of a zoo or other attraction and my first Greater Flamingo. Judging from the number of birders at this wetland, the flamingo has real appeal. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get close enough to get good sharp photos to show you. This afternoon we revisited the wetland and the flamingo was gone. Perhaps it flew off to rejoin its colony. What do you think?

See ya!

See ya!

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5 thoughts on “Pretty, Pink, and Alone

  1. A very stately bird. Not living in Florida and seeing Flamingos at all the atrractions around Orlando, I didn’t know they were a rare sight elsewhere in Florida. So much for my Wildlife Biology degree!

  2. Oh, I’d love to have your degree. I’m sure you find it quite helpful.
    The flamingos you see in attractions are probably American flamingos. Even they don’t breed here anymore. those seen in the wild are usually escapees from captivity or possibly wild birds from the Caribbean. The Tropical Audubon Society site reports a few American flamingos recently seen on the flats in Florida Bay.

  3. This bird is magnificent. I’ve never seen a flamingo of any type except in a zoo. All we get in SoCal are Egrets and homely Herons…but, then again, they can be rather stately in their own right. Wonderful blog BTW.

  4. My favorite bird. Thank you for sharing….I think he needed some peace and quiet, then realized he missed his loved ones…:)

  5. Pingback: Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus roseus | Birds of the World

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