Wanted : #492.
On the lam since 2005.
Employees at the Sedgewick County Zoo didn’t clip this chick’s wings. No. 492 is in flight, spotted from Wisconsin to Louisiana, and recently seen off the Texas Gulf Coast.
Here in sunny Florida, the only flamingo I’m apt to see is an escapee banded like #492. If I spot a bright pink bird, and it’s not made of pink plastic, I’m looking at a Roseate Spoonbill, the species with the spatula-shaped bill.
There used to be a small breeding population of flamingos when early Europeans arrived. If there is a shrimp-colored beauty in the extreme southern areas these days, it’s usually a vagrant from the Yucatan.
No. 492 was born in Africa before being shipped to the Sedgwick County Zoo. It’s on the loose and very lonely. Flamingos are gregarious and don’t do well without their flamboyance, or flock.
I’m worried for #492. Its eye is bigger than its brain. Maybe it just wants return to Africa. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays.