There's really nothing more Floridian than the flamingo as shown everywhere in the state; restaurant names, park names, street names,lawn ornaments, t-shirts, restaurant names, cocktail swizzles and napkins, motel signs, beach bags and the list goes on and on. They must be native birds to have achieved this level of association with the state, right?

Flamingo.jpg

Flamingo were once common in Florida but those striking pink feathers were highly desired decorations for ladies' hats resulting them to be hunted out of existence for the plume trade in the 1800s like so many other plumed birds.

A team of South Florida researchers made the case that Florida has real flamingos and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission removed the American flamingo from its website's listing of nonnative species stating they have to be treated like a native species. Florida's native flamingo population hadn't been wiped out after all. The flamingos birders had been seeing for years didn't migrate as had been believed, researchers solved the case of Florida's missing flamingos, they have been there all along but in far fewer numbers than in the past.

Stormwater Treatment Area 2 isa 9,000-acre constructed wetland may have been built to remove excess nutrients from the water supply, but it seemed to also provide a safe haven for these long-lost, and long-legged, Floridians. The Flamingo's have been seen performing courtship rituals and mating which pretty much cements the fact they aren't migratory but live in small numbers right now and hopefully will make a full recovery and be as plentiful as they were prior to being hunted.

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