While the 147 pink birds counted in far western Palm Beach County may not seem like a large flock to some, that number startled the researchers.
“Since the late 1800s, we have had very small numbers show up in South Florida,” said Zoo Miami’s Frank Ridgley.
He and colleagues from the Tropical Audubon Society were attempting to tag some of the birds when a large helicopter flew overhead.
“It scared them all up into the air and we were afraid they were going to fly off, and it turned out to be Donald Trump’s helicopter,” said Ridgley.
He added that only two flamingos have shown up in the region with leg bands in recent years, which revealed they had migrated from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The species breeds in the Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico and Ecuador, but the researchers said they don't know exactly from where members of the large flock came.
Photo: Judd Patterson - National Park Service