While flamingos aren’t indigenous to Juneau, you may have seen them around town lately.
A flock of 12 pink, plastic birds has been migrating through the Mendenhall Valley, Lemon Creek and downtown areas, thanks to the local chapter of the International Order of the Rainbow Girls service sorority.
“We’ve brought them back to bring some joy to our community during a tough year with rough weather,” said Sorcha Hazelton, the Rainbow Girls advisory board secretary, in an email.
“We’ve had our flamingos for years and used to use them as a fundraiser in the summer,” explained Gabrielle Hazelton, an adult adviser to the group and member of the advisory board, in a phone interview Wednesday. “This year, we wanted to do something that’s just for fun, so we brought them out of hibernation.”
The idea to deploy the flock was hatched late last fall as the group brainstormed socially distanced ways to bring joy to the community.
“One of the girls said let’s pull them out of storage and get them going,” Gabrielle Hazelton said, noting that the members drive the projects, not the leaders.
So far, the plan is working.
“When we deliver the flamingos, homeowners come out and tell us that this is awesome. Someone will walk by and tell us that the flamingos really brighten up their walk,” Gabrielle Hazelton said.
Each Saturday, a group of volunteers gathers the flamingos and moves them to a new yard. Each week’s recipient gets to pick the next week’s recipient.
“Our flamingos are not used to winter weather. We’ve had some spray from snowplows. So, we’ve learned to watch the weather. And we’ve been replacing them with bigger and pinker versions,” Gabrielle Hazelton said.
What do you call a group of flamingos?
According to dictionary.com, a group of flamingos is called a flamboyance. They explain on their website, “both flamingo and flamboyance come from words referring to fire. Flamingo comes from the Spanish and Portuguese Flamengo, literally, “flame-colored.” Flamboyance comes from French, meaning “to flame” or “flair.”
•Contact Dana Zigmund at email@example.com or 907-308-4891.