Spoonies having breakfast…

Several Roseate Spoonbills found a great spot for foraging this recent sunny morning. The water was just deep enough…..but not too deep. “Roseate Spoonbills forage in shallow waters typically less than 5 inches deep. They sweep their partly opened spoon-shaped bill through the water, feeling and looking for crustaceans such as shrimp, prawns, aquatic insects, and fish. Once they feel the prey on their bill they snap it closed, often swallowing the item whole.” (All About Birds)

The Roseate Spoonbills are the only type of spoonbill in the Western Hemisphere. Although they visit us often, their breeding grounds in Florida are mostly in the mangrove swamps and coastal marshes, lagoons and bays south of us (FWC). The birds above are young, as noted by their pale soft pink plumage. As they mature, they develop deeper pink wing feathers and distinct head markings, as seen below (National Park Service: Everglades).

Audubon describes the Roseate Spoonbill as “Gorgeous at a distance and bizarre up close” (Audubon), which is a pretty accurate description!

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