A Chilean flamingo has been spotted in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (Located between Brittany and Normandy), having – it is believed – escaped from a zoo.
The bird was seen by Sébastien Provost of Birding Mont-Saint-Michel on Monday morning (October 24).
Étonnante observation d'un flamant du Chili ce matin dans la Baie ! pic.twitter.com/Oj99zphyRp— Birding Mont-Saint-Michel (@BirdingMsm) October 24, 2022
“This is a species frequently found in [safari] parks and zoos, which also sometimes breeds in nature. The bird in the bay is almost surely not wild,” he told Actu.fr.
“We spotted it from Mont Manet and we decided to go to the Bec d’Andaine to see it closer up.”
The bird looks healthy and is eating well in the bay.
Chilean flamingos have a slightly pinker plumage than the larger greater flamingo, but are not as intensely colourful as the Caribbean flamingo.
The Chilean species can be identified by its grey legs with pink joints, and the large amount of black on its beak.
“We remember a Chilean flamingo that came to the Bay for over 10 years and which was found dead at the base of [tidal island] Tombelaine in 2012,” Mr Provost added.
Greater flamingos can also be sighted in the Camargue (Provence), where an artificial island created in the Etang du Fangassier in the 1970s has facilitated their breeding.
These flamingos are wild and can generally be spotted all year round, although the best time to see their mating dances and new plumage is between December and March.
“The wild pink flamingo [of Camargue] is unlikely to be seen in [Mont-Saint-Michel] bay, but sometimes it does drift northwards. One was recently seen in the Seine estuary,” Mr Provost said.