Quantcast
Feb 072012
 

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.

Steven Scott

Steven Scott

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.


Leave a Comment

  5 Responses to “Roseate Spoonbill: Iconic Florida Wading Bird”

  1. Wow, nice pic. Is spoonbill bird protected animal and declared by IUCN as one of the endangered species?

    • Interestingly the Roseate Spoonbill is listed as of “least concern.” Although this species breeds only as far north as Florida in the US, it has a well established and healthy population in Central and South America. My anecdotal observations here in Florida tell me that the Spoonbill, and wading birds in general, are quite adaptable and have expanded their feeding areas from natural swamps to man-made catch basins and drainage ditches. Their rookeries however, are always a concern. Fortunately Florida has the Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress Preserve which provide nesting sites for many of our wading birds. Even better news is the restoration efforts in the Everglades to re-establish the natural water flow through our “river of grass.’ Great question and thanks for visiting Focusing on Wildlife.

  2. Great to see beutiful pictures of a spoonbill bird of Floria. I think Steve will have more beutiful photos when he has chances to take. I hope one day I will have an opportunity to vist Floria. Good luck with the next trip to Vietnam.

    • Thanks Lien! See you soon in Hanoi. Lien is an Phd entomologist working for Vietnam’s National Museum of Nature, and was the principal investigator on the Earthwatch Institute project “Butterflies of Vietnam.” I will be joining him this spring for a visit to Cuc Phuong National Park, which is home to an astounding and diverse biota.

  3. Ken Billington

    Steven, outstanding photos, the Roseate Spoonbill really is an iconic species. I once visited Sanibel Island but that was before I became obsessed by bird photography. In those days digital cameras hadn’t even been invented! Looks like I’ll have to put Florida on my travel itinerary!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. 120,000 dead: half of the world’s saiga die in less than a month » [1161 Views]
  2. Swifts migrate from Beijing to southern Africa without landing » [929 Views]
  3. Vicious murdering bully chosen as Britain’s national bird » [872 Views]
  4. Murder Most Foul in the Faroes » [834 Views]
  5. Butterfly wings inspire cosmetics and bomb detectors » [780 Views]
  6. Earth enters new extinction phase » [713 Views]
  7. Yellow-breasted bunting population collapses across Eurasia » [702 Views]
  8. Eastern Cougar extinct, no longer needs protection, says US conservation agency » [637 Views]
  9. Poll: Should stricter sonar controls be imposed on the US navy? » [625 Views]
  10. Iberian lynx: back from the brink of extinction … and run down by cars » [587 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [11984 Views]
  2. » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10683 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7459 Views]
  4. POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4096 Views]
  5. Komodo and its Dragons » [3926 Views]
  6. POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3888 Views]
  7. Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [3249 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [2987 Views]
  9. Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [2773 Views]
  10. POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [2717 Views]