MADISON, Wisconsin: Last week, five flamingos were seen along a Lake Michigan beach in Wisconsin, attracting a large crowd of onlookers.
Mark Korducki, a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the American flamingos seen in Port Washington, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Milwaukee, was the first ever sighting of the species in the state.
The birds included three adults identifiable by their pink plumage and two juveniles with gray feathers.
Bird watcher and photographer Jim Edelhuber of Waukesha, who was among a crowd of some 75 bird watchers at the beach, said, "This is huge. This is unbelievable."
Ryan Brady, conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said, "The sighting was unexpected but not a total shock because of recent reports of flamingos in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania."
The Journal Sentinel quoted biologists as stating that the flamingos were probably pushed north in late August by the strong winds of Hurricane Idalia.
The typical range of the American flamingo is Florida and other Gulf Coast states, as well as the Caribbean and northern South America.