Flamingos likely blown off course by Hurricane Idalia, wildlife officials say
PORT WASHINGTON, Wisc. -- Five flamingos have been spotted on Lake Michigan in Port Washington, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee.
Jerry Lorenz, the state director of research for Audubon Florida, told WISN that he speculates the birds were flying between Cuba and the Yucatan and got diverted by Hurricane Idalia.
According to the American Birding Association's Facebook page, flamingos have shown up in at least 12 states with Wisconsin being the northernmost.
This is the first recorded flamingo sighting in Wisconsin.
Lorenz is urging people to give the flamingos lots of space because they have been through a lot.
"These birds are stressed right now. They just went through a terrible ordeal, no matter how you look at it," said Lorenz. "So don't get close enough to startle them to frighten them or anything else, but enjoy their
Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources said there are no immediate plans to "rescue" the birds since there is no reason to believe they are in danger.
Wildlife officials said it expects more sightings over the next few weeks, until it starts to get cold, and their instincts trigger them to start flying south.
The Department said it hopes the birds start moving south soon because there is no real source of food for them in Wisconsin.
The Department of Natural Resources also stressed people should leave the birds alone, saying flamingoes are wild animals and they should be treated as such.