WAYNESVILLE — Wild flamingos have been spotted at Caesar Creek State Park.
An iWitness7 shared photos of the flamingos with News Center 7 Friday evening. The Indian Lake Chamber office also shared photos on social media.
News Center 7 spoke with Will Babb, a staff writer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and he said the flamingos were likely brought up to Ohio as Hurricane Idalia swept through southern states like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
He identified the flamingos as American Flamingos, which are typically found in the Caribbean.
The two flamingos spotted in Caeser Creek are most likely wild birds, as ODNR saw no indication of wing clippings or tags, he said.
Babb said the flamingo with grayish, black feathers is a juvenile bird and was likely born within the past year. The flamingo with pink feathers is likely two to three years old.
The pair have not been spotted since Friday night, meaning they have likely started their travels southbound.
Babb said the flamingos will likely travel to Flordia where the habitat is more fit to accommodate them.
Ohio is the northernmost state where flamingos have been reported after Hurricane Idalia, he said. There have been other reports of flamingos in states like Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, none of which they are native to, Babb said.
Other types of song and waterbirds will sometimes show up in a habitat they have not been seen in before, but this is one of the only cases where flamingos have been reported in Ohio, Babb said.
“Wild Flamingo’s in Ohio! Currently, several flamingos have been spotted on Caesar’s Creek. The Pink Flamingos sure would make a nice [addition] to our Indian Lakes Ring of Fire don’t you think?” the social media post stated.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources doesn’t list the flamingo as a waterbird in Ohio.
The Caeser Creek State Park has posted to Facebook starting a “Flamingo Photo Contest” asking those who photographed the birds to post photos in their comment section. The winner will be featured on the new park cover page, starting Monday evening.
The Facebook post also says the flamingos have not been spotted since Friday evening and to let the state park know if anyone spots them.
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