Utah's Wild Chilean Flamingo!



Pink Floyd at Saltair on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake
by Jack Binch
26 Feb 2005  ŠJack Binch  (Go to photo #2)

Pink Floyd on the Wing at Saltair
by Jack Binch
26 Mar 2005  ŠJack Binch

  Vital Statistics:

  • Height: About three foot eight
  • Color: Bright pink, with red and black highlights
  • Place of Origin: South America (maybe Chile, Bolivia or Peru)
  • First Utah Home:  Tracy Aviary, Salt Lake City, 1985
  • Year Escaped:  1988
  • Reason for Escape:  The wings were not clipped.-- a procedural miscue.
  • Wintering grounds: Shores of the Great Salt Lake in Utah
  • Summering grounds:  Lima reservoir and Camas NWR near the Idaho-Montana border.  Has been seen 30 miles south of the Great Salt Lake one summer and just  north of the lake another summer.
  • Companions: Pink Floyd usually is seen hanging around with a group of gulls, but has been seen flying in from the north with some Tundra Swans.
  • Food of Choice: Brine shrimp (in winter -- keeps him in the "pink")


Articles about Pink Floyd:


If you think you see a child eating cotton candy
on the shores of the Great Salt Lake in the middle of the winter --
 -- take another look!
  There's probably no child and it's probably

the wild Chilean Flamingo!

Some reports of
Pink Floyd from e-mail hotlines:

Birdnet E-mail - 19 Dec 2010 - Saltair

Subject: flamingo

To whom it may concern: Yesterday, December 19, 2010, I was driving on I-80 next to the Great Salt Lake and saw a pink flamingo standing in the water of the Great Salt Lake.

Karl R. Fink
(Chicago, Illinois)

12 May 2005 - To Kit Struthers, From John O'Neill of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Subject:  Flamingo at Market Lake


FYI. He's back. There is a flamingo hanging out near the dike of M4 and M3 at Market Lake.

John O'Neill

Cliff Weisse of Island Park, ID  -  24 Apr 2005 - Camas County in eastern Idaho
Forwarded by:   Jim McIntyre

"Camas was about the same but there were some Yellow-rumped Warblers thrown into the mix. Also the Chilean Flamingo was roosted in one of the ponds south of headquarters. It looks like they might be building a pond in the field west of the Russian Olives west of headquarters. That would be a very nice addition. Hopefully it's not wishful thinking".

"National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)" -  26 Jul 2003 - Bear River
Subject:   Flamingo - Bear River Refuge, Utah

July 24 We birded the Bear River Bird Refuge in Brigham City, UT on the morning of July 24 and much to our surprise, found a single Flamingo (Greater?) on the flats with thousands of shorebirds. Perhaps this bird has been reported earlier so pardon us if the origin or status is already known. ... The bird was walking along away from the road but already 200 yards out in the flats - located 3/4 of the way around the driving loop....  ~  George and Ellen West, Green Valley, AZ

E-mail quoting an e-mail  - Idaho/Montana

Seeing the recent posting on Pink Floyd reminded me of an encounter I had recently in Hawaii. I was on a Hawaii Forest & Trails birding expedition on the big island, when unexpectedly the subject of Pink Floyd came up.  I was talking with Dave and Elise Faike from Idaho, and it turns out they have seen Pink Floyd on his summering grounds. Since I have never heard where Pink Floyd's went (although others of you may well have known) I asked Dave to send me more exact information. So just in case you're interested, here's a quote from Dave's email.

"Looking at my maps, it appears the lake where PF over-summers is named Lima Reservoir, just across the Idaho state line and into Montana. Evidently, it has stayed there each of the last 6 summers. Last spring, we sighted it in one of the many lakes (ponds) that make up Camas NWR  just a few miles south of there."  (~ Dave and Elise Faike, Idaho)

Good birding to all--Amy Owen  (9 Dec 2002)

Birdnet E-mail  -  9 May 2002 - Saltair

Subject: Pink Floyd

Since we didn't see anything about Pink Floyd this winter in scanning the web site, we just wanted to mention our experience for the record.

We were in SLC on 29 November 2002, and drove out toward Saltaire on the frontage road. Pink Floyd, the FLAMINGO that escaped from the aviary many years ago, was with a flock of gulls about 7/10 of a mile west of Saltaire, where some wood pilings stick up at the water's edge. We first looked at him with 10X binocs and a spotting scope at about 8:10 AM, then proceeded westward along the frontage road toward the yacht basin. About an hour later at 9:15 AM, he and the gulls were still in the same area....

Clay and Cliftia (Johnson)

Birdnet E-mail - 30 Jan 2001 - Saltair

Subject: Pink Floyd

Hi Everyone,
I went out to Saltair and the Marina after work this afternoon, hoping to find the female Hooded Merganser. No such luck, but just east of Saltair I saw Pink Floyd out in the water! I had tried to locate him a couple of times when he had been spotted earlier, without success, so it feels good when I stumbled upon him! ...

Bruce Robinson

Birdnet E-mail - 4 May 2001 - Cache Valley

Subject: Pink Floyd

A reporter from Logan contacted Tracy Aviary today to get information about "Pink Floyd" the Chilean Flamingo that winters on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake. (The bird escaped from the Aviary several years ago.)
The Flamingo is presently in Cache Valley, due west of the airport in the area of "Benson Marina". Apparently the bird has been seen in Idaho in previous summers and last summer was sighted in Montana.
Just an interesting note if anyone is interested... I've only seen Floyd in winter.

Dave Thompson

Birdnet E-mail - 1 Nov 2001 - Saltair

Subject: Pink Floyd

He's back! Tracy Aviary's escaped Chilean Flamingo was out at Saltaire today to spend another winter.

- -Larene (Wyss)

Pink Floyd on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake
by Jack Binch 
26 Feb 2005  ŠJack Binch  -  (Go to photo #1)

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