Rec brings back flamingo prank

If you wake up one morning and find a flock of pink flamingoes on your lawn, don’t worry – it’s likely that you’ve been flamingoed by Colchester Recreation.

The department has brought back its popular You’ve Been Flamingoed prank after a five-year hiatus – er, the birds’ five-year migration. To participate, residents purchase different sized flocks, ranging from $25 to $55, or $20 flamingo insurance to prevent their placement on your lawn.

Profits benefit the Cathy Neary Scholarship Fund, named after a former rec department administrative assistant who lost an 11-year battle with cancer in 2014.

“Throughout those years, she never let it change her lovely personality or her positive attitude,” the department says. “She was a kind and loving employee who felt that everyone, regardless of their financial situation, should experience the joy of recreation.”

Neary would often help Colchester families meet the scholarship match from her own pocket.

“Although she is no longer a physical presence in our office, her presence will continue in spirit through the scholarship fund,” the description says.

And indeed, the birds do create a presence, as kitschy as it might be.

“There are probably two types of people in the world: Those who take the flamingos seriously as quality yard art and those who wouldn’t be caught dead with even one adorning their lawn,” the brochures says.

Unfortunately for the latter folk, pranksters can purchase up to 75 flamingos to adorn a lawn. Flocks aren’t allowed on common ground or public property, so apartment dwellers are spared the avian invasion.

The rec department says the birds are not only a practical joke but also a happy birthday wish or to mark a special occasion. Or, should you want, you can order them for yourself.

Flamingos set up shop for 24 hours before they find their next home with the rec department’s help. Order forms are available at