Nice surprise on an overcast morning

IMG_8941Sometimes the weather doesn’t look great for birding when you set out in the morning. But you just never know what you will see . . .IMG_9008A few minutes into my walk, a fellow birder pointed out that a Roseate Spoonbill had just flown in near the entrance – so I turned back, of course!IMG_9023Right there below the boardwalk, a lovely lone Roseate Spoonbill decided to forage for awhile in the shallow water, to the great delight of passersby.IMG_9014The Spoonbill is so named because of its large, flat, spatula-shaped bill. This unique design allows the bird to feed by “tactolocation”, moving its bill rhythmically from side to side, searching for aquatic insects, crustaceans, amphibians, or small fish.IMG_9002 I’ve written quite a bit about the Spoonies (above with their friends the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks) in previous blog posts.  These beautiful birds were once far more common. After being nearly decimated by the plume trade just over a century ago, they have made a strong comeback. IMG_9094Audubon (https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/roseate-spoonbill) calls the Roseate Spoonbill “gorgeous at a distance and bizarre up close”.  Although I missed several other unexpected Spoonbill “flyovers” this morning, it was a treat to catch these two as they glided by!

21 thoughts on “Nice surprise on an overcast morning

  1. Thanks BJ for another interesting insight into the Spoonbills and the whistling duck. We have the plumed, wandering and spotted whistling duck in Australia and they are very attractive also. I love hearing them whistling.

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