TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — In addition to potentially keeping red tide at bay, for now, Hurricane Idalia may have provided another "parting gift" to the Tampa Bay area — pink flamingos at the beach!
On Thursday, beachgoers at Treasure Island were treated to a rare sighting of a small flock — aka a "flamboyance" — of pink flamingos flying over the beach. 10 Tampa Bay viewer Joey Alyea captured a video showing the flamingos flying along the shoreline.
You can hear people telling others to look up and see the birds, awe in their voices.
Typically, people in the Tampa Bay area only see a flamingo when passing by Phoebe, a giant pink flamingo sculpture, at the Tampa International Airport.
Flamingos were also reportedly seen further north at Fred Howard Beach in Tarpon Springs.
The iconic birds were also spotted after Hurricane Idalia further down Florida's Gulf Coast on the Sanibel Causeway, according to a post from WINK meteorologist Matt Devitt.
If you're not from Florida, you might think flamingos, a bird ubiquitously linked to the Sunshine State's identity, are regularly seen roaming around here in the Tampa Bay area. But that's not the case.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, while American flamingos have been seen along much of the state's coast, more than 95 percent of sightings happen in South Florida within the Everglades, Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. People living or visiting in Hialeah are also able to observe the birds.
If flamingos don't frequent the Tampa Bay area, why were they here? Turns out, hurricanes affect birds in a similar way it does for people, Florida Audubon says. Some birds who are migrating south will detour around hurricanes in order to avoid them. Others use it to their advantage, utilizing tailwinds for a boost.
But many other birds become trapped in the storm. "And hurricanes are renowned for blowing birds many miles off course, with rare seabirds and Caribbean birds found after landfall in the most unlikely places in our state," Florida Audubon said.