Daily Mail, UK
It could be a severe case of bird-bird, or strange weather patterns causing confusion, but at the moment scientists remain baffled about instances of flamingos flying north to bitterly cold Siberia for the winter, instead of south.
Four flamingos recently touched down in various parts of Siberia, to the astonishment of locals, in temperatures as low as -30C.
One landed in the Evenkia district of vast Krasnoyarsk region, which is just 310 miles south of the Arctic circle.
A strange place to be for a bird common in Africa, southern Europe and south Asia that likes warm climates.
It landed near Petr Sidorkin, a hunter who, luckily for the unusual visitor, wasn’t in the mood for targeting exotic birds, the Siberian Times reported.
On the advice of local wildlife experts he and his wife fed it carrots, fish and minced beef, the paper said, and then took it to Royev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk. Sadly, the bird did not survive.
It had frostbitten legs and a low body temperature from minus 30C conditions, the paper said.
Another flamingo caused a flap when it landed near the Turochack district of the mountainous Altai Republic, startling a local dog – which promptly bit it.
Fortunately, it was nursed back to health first at the Novosibirsk Centre for the Rehabilitation of Birds of Prey, then at Novosibirsk Zoo, which said it has facilities in which the bird will be able to thrive.
Another flamingo swooped down onto an ice lake in the Tomsk region and was rescued by fishermen. It had suffered mild frostbite but was given a warm reception at Seversky Zoo, which recharged its batteries.
The fate of another flamingo that landed in Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovo region, is unknown.
It was spotted ambling along the snowy bank of the Usa River, but flew off to an island in the river before local wildlife experts could catch it.
Alexey Vasilchenko, from ‘Kuznetsk Alatau’ Reserve, told The Siberian Times that there have been around two dozen instances of flamingos veering off course to Siberia in the past 100 years.
There is a population of flamingos in Kazakhstan, but that is far from the Siberian locations the four flamingos ended up at this year.
Some are known to migrate to Iran and India in the winter and one theory is that northerly warm fronts are fooling the birds into thinking they’re going in the right direction, others think that it could just be faulty wiring in the birds internal compass.
These birds are far from the only ones migrating to a surprising spot.
Over 5,000 birds of at least 16 different species have made a sewage drain in Delhi their home.
Seasonal visitors including the Painted Stork, Sarus Crane, Black-Necked Stork, Black-Tailed Godwit and Black-Headed Ibis have all bedded down there.
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