Chris Evers, our director, spotted a flamingo while photographing migratory birds on Lake Kitchawan near his home . . . in Pound Ridge, New York! From a distance he could tell that this was not one of our typical migratory birds. He slowly and quietly paddled closer to the bird.
As he approached, he could see the pink plumage on the wings and the large, unusually shaped beak. As it’s long pink legs came into view, he knew without a doubt that this was indeed a flamingo.
This bird’s dark beak is typical of the Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor). Although there are species of flamingo native to the Americas, this species resides in Africa (principally in the Great Rift Valley) and in southern Asia.
Chris followed the bird across the lake and managed to approach within thirty feet of the beautiful animal. He could clearly see an identification band on the birds leg and decided to try to catch the bird and locate its owner. With the temperatures dropping and lack of appropriate food in the area, the bird would not have survived much longer. With his fishing rod he looped the line around the bird’s legs and reeled it into the boat. The cast was perfect! When the bird attempted to fly, he managed to loop the line around his long legs, and reeled the confused animal into the boat.
With the help of Animal Embassy staff, Robin and Brittany, its health and fitness were assessed.
With such long, fragile legs, it was important to keep the bird from thrashing as the identification band on the flamingo’s leg was checked. Understandably frightened, the beautiful creature seemed in good shape
Above, the flamingo patiently waits in Chris' bathtub while Chris, Robin & Brittany research its owner through the identification band. With internet and a cell phone, two and a half hours after spotting and catching the bird, it’s owner was located and happily reunited with his flamingo.
Animal Embassy was thrilled to have helped. All in a day’s work!