The Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) is a rather bizarre wading bird of Florida and Central and South America. This heron-sized member of the Ibis family (Threskiamithidae) is easily recognized by it’s pink plumage and spatulate bill.
Most often found swishing it’s bill from side to side as it wades in shallow pond edges and drainage ditches, it feeds on crustaceans, small fish and marine invertebrates.
The Spoonbill’s distinctive coloration, whichranges from very pale pink to dark magenta, is the result of it’s diet. Flying in a shallow wingbeat and gliding motion with outstretced neck, Spoonbills are often mistaken for Flamingoes.
Visitors to Florida are most likely to see Roseate Spoonbills in the Everglades, Big Cypress Preserve or the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
Please visit “Field Notes and Photos” http://fieldnotes-steve.blogspot.com/ to see more of Florida’s flora and fauna.
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Steven Scott is a photonaturalist blogger based in Florida and Maine. He has surveyed butterflies with Earthwatch Institute in the mountains of Vietnam, tagged juvenile snook with Mote Marine Laboratory in the mangroves of Florida and filmed a BioBlitz insect survey in Acadia National Park. A registered nurse and retired Army officer, Steven believes man is an integral part of nature and travels annually to Vietnam with humanitarian medical teams from Vets With a Mission.
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