Date: 8/30/18 2:26 pm
From: Phil Davis <pdavis...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Scarlet Ibis and flamingos in Patterson Park, Baltimore !!!
Hi MDBirders:

No, don't go hop into your car ... this is a bit of ancient history. I
was doing some deep research and happen to run across the following
news blurb from 1875:

From: The Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, 27 Jul 1875, page 4:

An Ibis for Patterson Park
The park commissioners have received as a present from Capt. Wm. S.
Thompson, of the bark Chattanooga, an Ibis brought by him from Porto
[sic] Rico. The bird is now at Patterson Park engaged in destroying
grasshoppers, in which he seems to be very expert. The Ibis is a genus
of grallitory birds, one species of which, the ibis religiosa [Sacred
Ibis], having a bare head and neck and the general plumage white, with
the tips of the wings and the tail black, was regard in ancient Egypt
with a degree of respect bordering on adoration. The ibis rubra
[Scarlet Ibis], another species, is found in the hot parts of America.
This is the species presented to Patterson Park, the white feathers of
the bird being dashed with crimson spots like blood sprinkled over a
white shirt. The bird is as large as a turkey, with a long curved bill
and long legs. The flamingoes [sic], which lately made their
habitation on the island in the lake of Patterson Park, have both died
and their skins, having been prepared by a taxidermist and stuffed,
will be give to the museum of the Academy of Sciences.

I'm no expert on this, but I guessing that these flamingos might be
original source for the Hampden neighborhood's fascination with pink
flamingo lawn statues, rugby team names, movie titles (a la Jon
Waters), etc.? However, I've not able to find any sources on the web
that can verify this.

Just sayin' ... hon ...


Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA

MD/DCRC Web site:

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