Suspicious activity was reported in the Grand Haven area concerning a flock of migrating pink flamingos randomly appearing in yards under cover of darkness. The birds were on the move seven nights a week, leaving behind a sign telling homeowners, “You’ve been flocked!”
A sign on a yard that was flocked
One man, who caught the birds landing, said he was about to call the police when he turned the bird over. To his surprise, found the name of his church, Ferrysburg Christian Reformed Community Church.
The high school youth mission team at the church was behind the flocking. They were trying to raise $3,000 to go on a Disaster Response Services trip to West Virginia.
Church members were given the opportunity to purchase Anti-Flocking Insurance for $10 to make sure their yard would not end up covered with dozens of plastic flamingos. Each week, the cost of the insurance rose. Members could also pay to have someone else’s yard “flocked.”
Those who had not purchased insurance woke up to a yard awash in pink, including pastor Nate Visker, who was one of the first to be hit. Victims were asked to pay a small donation to have the birds removed the next night.
A map of the birds’ migratory patterns was updated every Sunday, including photos.
Some members outwitted the youth group. Cory Schaaf removed all the birds but one and left a note saying it was hunting season and after one shot, the rest of the birds had all flown away.
After a report in the local newspaper, non-churchgoers got in on the action, resulting in requests for yards to be flocked.
“This fundraiser came about as an accident,” said youth director Paula DeJonge. After “forking” the pastor’s lawn (covering the yard with forks), they thought it would be great to use flamingos.
About the Author
Daina Kraai is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Muskegon and Northern Michigan.