The name of Tampa International Airport's big flamingo is Phoebe

The 21-foot tall flamingo is a sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta, who titled the piece 'Home.'

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click to enlarge Tampa International Airport said that Phoebe received 16,122 votes. - Photo via Tampa International Airport
Photo via Tampa International Airport
Tampa International Airport said that Phoebe received 16,122 votes.
Tampa International Airport's big bird has a name now, and it's Phoebe.

The airport announced the news Thursday morning, after the results of a naming contest where judges whittled more than 65,000 entries to three finalists before more than 37,000 votes were cast to land at the winner.

The name was initially submitted by a 63-year-old, Daytona Beach Shores-based retired educator named J. Bryan M, according to the airport. Bryan went to elementary school down the street from Busch Gardens and chose "Phoebe," in part, because it is a "playful alliterative to flamingo and means brilliantly inquisitive." Phoenicopterus is also a flamingo's scientific name.

The other two names that made it to the final round were Cora and Finn. The airport said that "Phoebe received 16,122 votes with Cora coming in a close second at 14,341 votes. Finn finished in third place with 6,779 votes."

Tampa International's 21-foot tall flamingo is a sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta, who titled the piece "Home," and alluded to the debate over whether or not the birds are even native to Florida.

"However, the story of HOME is not about whether someone or something, is originally from here or not," Mazzotta wrote. "The exaggerated scale of the flamingos in HOME puts the lives of these birds in the focus, and puts us, as humans, in awe as they tower above us, reminding us that we all share the same home."

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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