Damian Lillard wanted to play for the Miami Heat. Instead, he ended up getting traded to Milwaukee this week. As a consolation, some flamingos came here to Wisconsin, possibly to help soothe any disappointment and ease his transition to the Midwest.
The tropical birds were initially spotted along the shores of Lake Michigan near Port Washington, marking the first time the species has been seen in Wisconsin state history outside of a plastic lawn ornament scenario. They have since been spotted in Menasha and north of Wisconsin Dells.
Wildlife biologists theorize the winds from Hurricane Idalia sent the flamingos on an unscheduled journey north in late August. But the Drink Wisconsinbly Department of Bird Science has a different, more plausible hypothesis.
Maybe these flamingos got tired of the South Beach scene and wanted to visit a place that values substance over style. After all, one can only handle so much flashing neon, body spray and Pitbull thumping at full volume before needing a break.
As the Wisconsin Department of Tourism would surely tell you, our state is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway for a wading bird, with thousands of freshwater lakes and rivers to stand in as well as new and exotic algae and seeds for an out-of-town visitor to eat. And soon, the fall colors will be as the vibrant as the flamingos themselves.
If our theory is correct, this could be the start of something big, with Wisconsin becoming a global hotspot for tropical bird tourism. So, if you happen to see our flamingo guests, be sure to be on your best behavior and show them our signature Midwestern hospitality. Buy them a drink. Nothing tropical though. They’re on vacation.