By Chris Marchand
Ornithologists are perplexed to see flocks of an exotic bird species divert its migratory route into Northwestern Ontario this fall.
Flocks of Phoenicopterus Plasticus have been spotted as near as Thunder Bay and are expected to arrive in the Dryden area by early this week.
Experts say the garish-looking birds are here for a good cause.
Would you believe the Dryden Regional Health Centre?
Dryden Kinettes’ Kelly Sobering is an expert on the habits and habitat of Phoenicopterus plasticus (otherwise known as the pink plastic flamingo) and warns Dryden homeowners and businesses that there is may be only one surefire way to prevent a temporary infestation of the flocking birds. We’ll get to that in a minute.
The local service club has even devised a scheme to harness the majesty of these revered creatures to raise funds for the local hospital.
For a donation of $50, Sobering and a crack team of bird experts will bait a flock of the flamingos to any residential or business location using a closely-guarded chum recipe that has been veterinarian-approved.
“We’re always looking for different fundraisers that will get people talking,” said Sobering. “For a minimum donation of $50 we will ‘flock’ somebody on your behalf. The birds should be nesting by 6 a.m. — preferably before they leave for work, and hopefully they’ll be gone later that night.”
As for those worried about retaliatory flocking or just interested in avoiding the scheme altogether, Sobering says a $15 donation can provide insurance against being flocked by your friends, neighbours or colleagues.
The birds are expected to remain in the Dryden area until the end of the month.
To ‘flock’ a friend, family member, or a local business contact Cheryl Nielson at (807) 223-7681 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Kelly Sobering at (807) 221-9719, or by e-mail at email@example.com .