American Flamingo

American Flamingo

American Flamingo, Plum Island, Essex, 16 Sep 1964. Photographer unknown.

2 records

MARC numberDecisionSpecies#LocationCountyArrivalDepartureObserversNotesReport
1964-002NAAmerican Flamingo1Essex9/16/196410/24/196414
1964-003NAAmerican Flamingo1Middlesex5/20/19655/20/196514


There are two records for the state, both from the mid-1960s. In both cases, the thorny issue of provenance was considered, because American Flamingos have been kept somewhat frequently in collections.

Evidence relating to the Natick bird strongly suggested that it was an escapee, because one of two birds imported from the Dominican Republic by a nearby Westwood resident had escaped prior to the sighting (Bagg and Emery 1965). The Natick record was unanimously considered in the third round to be of non-natural provenance.

The Plum Island bird had no clear connection to the Westwood incident, and garnered two votes to accept, but the majority was concerned that the date, location, and dull plumage of the bird were not suggestive of natural origin. Some stray flamingos have been treated as wild by Records Committees along the East Coast; for example, an adult photographed at Assateague Island, Worcester, MD, late June–September 3, 1972 (Rowlett 1972), was accepted as wild by the MD/DCRC (Davis 2005), in part due to its appearance after Hurricane Agnes. Similarly, many other records away from areas of regular occurrence in the Bahamas, southernmost Florida, and the Yucatan, have been tied to the passage of hurricanes (McNair and Gore 1998). In contrast, the two Massachusetts records from the mid-1960s were not tied to tropical storms.