Whenever I travel to the Gulf Coast, one of the birds that I look most forward to seeing is Roseate Spoonbill. This bird species is an incredibly beautiful pink color with a large spoon-shaped bill, as its name suggests. It’s a very striking bird that has made me stop in my tracks more than once as a flock flew over my head.
As you might suspect, the shape of the bill is helpful when this species is looking for food. The Roseate Spoonbill swings its bill back and forth through the water in search of food. The large bill probes the bottom and once the bird feels a prey item, the bill snaps shut around it. Among other things, they prey on crustacians, which is also what gives them their pink color.
In the United States, it’s easiest to spot a spoonbill along the Texas and Louisiana coasts as well as along both the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts of Florida. The species can also be found throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and South America as far south as Argentina. Although they are less common inland, they do show up in strange places from time to time. We had one in Indiana several years ago that stayed at Goose Pond FWA for about 3 months!
Have you ever seen Roseate Spoonbills? If so, where?