What might be NY’s first-ever flamingo is spotted on Long Island


Several wildlife photographers spotted a flamingo relaxing in the Hamptons this weekend.

After rumors of a flamingo’s Hamptons trip swirled around social media, local photographer KJ Klein went down to investigate. He took the above photo at Georgica Pond in East Hampton.

“First seen (Friday, June 1) and is believed to be a wild bird blown off course, not an escaped exotic,” Klein wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

It is unclear at this moment if one or multiple flamingos were spotted.

John Probert, another Long Island wildlife photographer, shared his shot of the pink beauty on the Long Island Wildlife Photography Facebook page on Saturday.

“The distance was tough, but I got the shots,” he wrote. “Craziest thing I ever photographed, an American Flamingo on Long Island!”

Photo by John Probert

The New York Post is reporting that this is the first American flamingo to visit New York. It may have landed here due to Hurricane Idalia, a Category 4 hurricane that smashed the southeastern part of the U.S. in August, the paper reported.

[Update June 3: Greater Long Island at first cited the post, but later reported otherwise.]

The average size of an American flamingo is 5 feet tall and could weigh between 4-8 pounds, per the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

The sighting is considered ultra-rare as the exotic bird typically lives in tropical and subtropical areas, mostly in northern South America, the Caribbean and Mexico, according to the San Diego Zoo.

According to the National Audubon Society — a non-profit organization that helps with the conservation of birds and their habitats — an American flamingo can be seen in parts of Florida, including Everglades National Park, flocking from the Bahamas.

“Today, most flamingos seen on the loose in North America are considered suspect, as possible escapees from aviaries or zoos,” the Audubon website reads. “However, some of those appearing in Florida Bay may still be wanderers from Bahamian colonies, and some seen in coastal Texas may come from colonies on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.”

There’s an estimated 260,000 to 330,000 American flamingos in the world.

This isn’t the first time the American flamingo species has landed in uncharted territory. In September, USA Today reported five were spotted taking a dip in Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, the first time ever the bird was spotted in the state. The wildlife biologist they interviewed said said it was possible that Hurricane Idalia was also the cause of this.

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