Wayward flamingo spotted in San Diego Bay

Posted at 7:04 PM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 22:06:48-05

SAN DIEGO BAY, Calif. (KGTV) - A wayward flamingo has taken up residence in San Diego Bay and no one knows where it usually calls home. 

The flamingo was spotted last week walking along the southernmost part of San Diego Bay.“I think it’s a Chilean flamingo,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager Brian Collins.

“It’s interesting.” It’s the first flamingo he’s ever seen during more than two decades in San Diego. 

However, he said it’s not a bad place for a flamingo.“The salt ponds and the intertidal habitat provide a lot of invertebrates that these guys forage on,” he said.

10News cameras spotted the flamingo about a hundred feet from the Silver Strand, which leads between Imperial Beach and Coronado. 

Collins said he spotted a band around the bird’s leg, which means it does belong to someone.  He said he contacted the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld’s Aquatica, SeaWorld, and even the Marriott hotel downtown. All of them maintain flamingo exhibits.  No one reported missing a flamingo as of Wednesday afternoon.  

Making matters more confusing: The bird's wings are not hindered. It can fly.

Most flamingos are native to South America or Africa.  

SeaWorld experts told Collins this flamingo looks Carribean.

Collins said the bird would be left alone for the time being even though it was clearly a fish out of water.

“I don’t feel great about it because it’s an animal out of place,” he said.