When I was young, I did not see the kind of wildlife we see today with a good deal of frequency. Back then, it was birds, squirrels, possums, skunks, deer, and, of course, domesticated pets.

Seriously, back in the day, I just never encountered rabbits--yes, RABBITS--foxes, hawks, and coyotes like I have over the last, say, decade or so. (My coyote encounter was fleeting; I saw it in the rearview mirror as he ran behind my car.)

A Non-Native (Obviously) Flamingo Makes an Appearance in Kentucky

And now BOBCATS also are making appearances. But these creatures are all native to Kentucky, and they've been jostled around by urban sprawl over the last four to five decades. However, even urban sprawl can't be used as a reason THIS made a recent cameo at Cave Run Lake south of Morehead:

What Experts Believe to Be the Reason Why a Flamingo Was in Kentucky

No, population increases don't bring FLAMINGOS to Kentucky. But hurricanes can. WHAS11-Louisville consulted the experts at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and they said it was likely thrown off course by Hurricane Idalia and that it will soon head south again. By the way, the KDFWR indicates that this bird came from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Talk about altering your flight plan.

Other Kentucky 'Strange Bird' Appearances

It's not the first sighting of an "exotic" bird in Kentucky. In fact, many folks spotted seagulls--and lots of them--back in December in Owensboro.

But they may not have been "sea" gulls. That's because there are actually EIGHT species of gulls in Kentucky, and they all bear a striking resemblance to one another.

And a month prior to the gull fest, a Greenland native paid a visit to Shelbyville KY:

I couldn't find anyone who made an educated guess as to why the goose found its way to Kentucky, but many a bird watcher found THEIR way to the Commonwealth to check it out.

If folks do the same thing with regard to the flamingo, they may be out of luck. I don't think he's too anxious to hang around here too long. He's got places to be (Mexico) and flamingos to see.

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

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