Florida's famous flamingos are back . . . and this time they're on national TV.
In a clip that aired on Saturday, NBC's Today Show took a crew out to the swampy flocking grounds of the only known population of wild American Flamingos in the States. The location is a man-made wetland in Palm Beach County, Florida, that serves as a nutrient-filtration site for water flowing into the Everglades system.
"At the end of the day, the bigger picture is that when you create wetlands and restore habitats, the birds will return," says Julie Hill-Gabriel, director of Everglades policy at Audubon Florida, who's featured in the video. She says this year the birds made landfall much later in the season, perhaps due to wetter-than-average conditions. Though the species isn't known to be migratory, these individuals may be coming up from the Bahamas, Cuba, or the Yucatan. So far only 35 flamingos have been recorded, compared to about 150 last year. But for Hill-Gabriel, seeing even one is special. "They're an extremely rare sight in the wild here," she says.
In general, conservation actions aimed toward wading birds like Roseate Spoonbills, White Pelicans, and Wood Storks could prove beneficial to the flamingos, which have an interesting history in the Everglades. Read more about that story here, and watch the segment below.
Correction: Five flamingos were seen while the NBC crew was out filming, but there have been 35 at the filtration site so far this year.