A Flamingo at Elkhorn Slough!

We’ve had a couple of reports of a flamingo being seen around the Slough.  We are hoping to get some photos posted here.  If you have a sighting or a photo of this bird send it to sloughsightings@elkhornslough.org and we’ll post it here.

Tricia from the visitor center reported that two visitors had seen the bird on Thursday 1/21/10:  A flamingo was seen from Kirby Park. on Thurs.  It then flew to the North Marsh, where it was observed  from the Elkhorn Rd.

This came in from Barbara Kossy on Saturday 1/23/10: Kayaking the slough today I was stunned to see the flamingo!
Looking through photos, and comparing sizes, I think it’s a Lesser Flamingo. It had a yellow band.
Will it survive? Will it be returned to its owner?

This was posted by Todd Newberry to Birdingonthe.Net:

In the late '60s and early '70s a few wintering flamingos graced the
Moss Landing salt pans. Of course (=?) they were escapees, at first
maybe from a local cage and after that from . . . where, Santa Anita?
But there they were, on dark days like flames in the rain. Since then I
have always thought of them as an aching winter absence there, and it
cheers me to hear that they are back.

Todd Newberry
Santa Cruz
And one more from Bernadette Ramer:
Yes, I knew these flamingos well! While doing shorebird censuses in
Elkhorn Slough and the Moss Landing Salt Ponds from  late 1977 through
1980,  I saw 2-3 flamingos regularly. In particular, 3 on 11 April
1978 and  5 on  30 April 1980, both in the Moss Landing Salt Ponds. .
At that time, the "Salt Ponds" were a brine shrimp operation, and the
flamingoes would be seen feeding there. With all the typical grays,
browns and blacks in shorebird land, seeing a flaming flamingo  was
always exciting.

Bernadette Ramer
Santa Cruz

One Comment On “A Flamingo at Elkhorn Slough!”

  1. My fiance and I saw a flamingo while kayaking on Elkhorn Slough this weekend! We took lots of pictures and will try to send one in to the website this week. It was the only flamingo we saw, light pink with bright orange legs and gullet. From further away, he would have looked like a crane or other local bird. Very exciting!

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