English and Scientific names:

American Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber

Number of individuals: 

One adult bird 

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Cameron Parish

Specific Locality:

We went to the center of the LA 82 bridge over the Mermentau River, continued east for 5.3 miles, and pulled over. The bird was visible to the southeast of the road in a marshy pond. 

Date(s) when observed:

May 7, 2009 

Time(s) of day when observed:  

From about 6:45 to 7:15 AM

Reporting observer and address:

John Sevenair,

Orleans LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Nancy Newfield

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

It was a gray and cloudy morning. Lighting was diffuse, with no shadows. The bird was in the open; shade had no influence.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss 7x42 binoculars and Svarovski scope with 20-60x zoom eyepiece 

Distance to bird(s): 

200 yards or so at first, perhaps 100 yards for a short period of time later. 

Duration of observation:

About half an hour. 


A shallow pond in the marsh.

Behavior of bird: 

When we arrived the bird was partially hidden behind a low ridge with grass on it. It walked around some, took off, and landed closer to us in the pond. Sometimes it seemed to be 'walking tall', trying to impress the Greater Flamingo that accompanied it; sometimes it lowered its head to the water's surface and fed. Finally it walked back to the original spot. 


This was a tall and slender wading bird; heads of nearby Rockefeller Refuge-type Canada Geese were level with its back. The beak was black near the tip, which was bent downward as flamingo beaks are, and paler near the face. The head, body, and wings were a pinkish red, paler on the body. The primaries and secondaries, seen while the bird was in flight, were black. The legs were long and reddish. The body was compact; the neck and legs were both long by comparison. The bird was banded, but I couldn't read the band. 


Not heard

Similar species:

Its identity as a flamingo is unmistakeable. The bird was much redder than the nearby Greater Flamingo.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

I took photos. The best are attached (they were trimmed but not otherwise enhanced). More are available on request.

Previous experience with this species: 

I've never seen an American Flamingo outside a zoo before. 

Identification aids:

Nancy Newfield.


after observation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Flamingo 

This description is written from: 

From memory and from the photos, which are attached. 

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


I'm positive. 


John P. Sevenair 

Date and time: 

May 8, 2009, at 11:15 AM