Hurricane Idalia Blew Exotic Flamingos Into The United States. Now, They’re All Over The Country

(Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Contributor
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ALERT: The United States is being invaded by … flamingos?

Florida (with a special Italic on Miami), the Caribbean, Africa — these are the places you envision when you think about flamingos. You’re not thinking about some town in Ohio that you’ve never heard of.

But the residents of Waynesville can now say they’ve had flamingos in the area. And not the ones at the zoo — we’re talking about wild exotic flamingos.

Just ask Jacob Roalef, who spoke to CNN about the flamingos he saw in the Buckeye State.

“I quickly grabbed my gear and told my wife and was out the door,” Roalef, who is a leader for birdwatching tours. “The flamingos were just hanging out and sleeping in about a foot of water near the shore. They would wake up and drink some water or look up if a gull flew overheard.”

Jerry Lorenz, who is Audobon Florida’s state director of research, says that ever since Hurricane Idalia came through, they’ve been loaded with reports of flamingo sightings around Florida, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee and, of course, Ohio. And the sightings are still raining in.

Lorenz says that the flashy birds were flying between Cuba and the Yucatan before getting diverted by Idalia.

When I talk about how America should follow the standards of Florida, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

But hey … I’ll take it. (RELATED: Tropical Storm Lee Officially Forms In Atlantic, Expected To Become ‘Extremely Dangerous Hurricane’)

Let freedom ring, baby! For Americans and all our flamingos!