Flamingos in Louisiana

The first documented sighting of a wild Greater Flamingo for Louisiana occurred last weekend. Brandon DeBarge of Cameron had been seeing to two large pink birds in the Calcasieu Channel area for about three weeks. He finally mentioned them to his dad, Brian DeBarge, who thought they must be flamingos. Brian contacted Cyndi Sellers (Marianna Tanner Primeaux’s daughter) and they went out by boat to the area on Sunday September 30. Cyndi got excellent pictures of the two birds (will be posted on the LOS website www.losbird.org).

Both of these birds had bands and the following information was found on the Internet to identify the origin of the birds. The rosy red bird with band "HDNT" was banded as a juvenile at the Ria Lagartos Reserve in the summer of 2005 and was probably carried by Hurricane Rita’s winds to Texas, where it spent a year and a half near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Its other partner ? aan Old World Flamingo ? joined him since January 2006. (HDNT juvenile picture - http://www.texasbirds.org/tbrc/grfl.htm)

Which brings us to the other flamingo, which has band number 492; it escaped from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita on June 27, 2005. The big puzzle is how these two birds ever got together in south Texas.

An attempt was made by several LOS Bird Records Committee members to relocate the birds on Wednesday morning but they were no longer in the area which they had been seen for three weeks. We did an extensive search of the immediate area and did not find them.

Brian DeBarge will notify me if the birds are seen again. As of now the location can only be accessed by boat and it is private property. If the birds are sighted again, we’ll try to find a way for people to go down and see the birds.

Judith O'Neale

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A little more on the subject from Rodrigo Migoya:

"There are 2700 banded flamingos from Ria Lagartos. each bird has a different, unique code, but I may tell you all have four letters which only 15 from the alphabet are being used. Most codes start with letter H, others with"D" and others with "F". This banding program originated in 1999, and we have banded falmingos for 7 years in August when the breeding seasons have been successful.

The only two migrants that have been spotted in the United States are HDNT and DFJV which was observed during Fall and Winter 2002-2003 in Florida."

photo by Cyndi Sellers

photo by Cyndi Sellers
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