Flamingos Return to Newton

Conservation News

It has recently come to our attention that there have been a highly unusual number of Phoenicopteris ruber (Greater Flamingo) sighted within the confines of Newton, particularly in the vicinity of Prince Road on West Newton Hill (off Chestnut Street near the All Newton Music School). We have heard reports of whole flocks in some cases (e.g., near the home of artist Jill Hunter) and one or two individual birds in others.

Recently some of these magnificent creatures appear to have dispersed from the initial West Newton sighting areas to the headquarters of the Newton Housing Authority at 82 Lincoln Street in Newton Highlands (which also serves as affordable housing, particularly for handicapped residents).

Our research indicates that this unusual pink bird had only once before been observed in Newton, in the Auburndale section on May 23, 1965. In fact, until the recent spate of sightings, such wild flamingos have not been seen in Massachusetts since 1967, a gap of some 36 years! (Source: Birds of Massachusetts, Veit and Peterson, 1993) The arrival of the flamingos in Newton Highlands was celebrated with a welcoming ceremony by the residents of the Hyde Apartments on Tuesday, May 27, 2003, which received extensive coverage in local media.