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Roseate Spoonbill

Created on Day 5

on September 28, 2012

The roseate spoonbill feeds by wading slowly through the water, sweeping its long bill from side to side.

Design

Roseate Spoonbill

The roseate spoonbill feeds by wading slowly through the water, sweeping its long bill from side to side, capturing insects, minnows, plants, and small crustaceans.

Features

  • The roseate spoonbill has a greenish unfeathered head, white neck and back, pink wings and underparts, and red legs and eyes. Feathers on its shoulders can be red during breeding.
  • Its most distinctive feature is its gray spoon-shaped bill, which is very long.

Fun Facts

  • The roseate spoonbill makes strange, guttural noises while it eats.
  • The roseate spoonbill’s pink coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments contained in the organisms in its diet.
  • It flies in diagonal formation with other spoonbills.
  • In the 1800s, roseate spoonbills were nearly hunted to extinction because their beautiful pink feathers were highly prized for women’s hats and fans.

CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Ciconiiformes (storks, herons, and relatives)
FAMILY: Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)
GENUS/SPECIES: Ajaia ajaja

Average 2.5 ft (0.8 m)
Diet: Mainly aquatic insects, also crayfish, shrimp, fish, and occasionally mollusks and plant matter
Habitat: Inland wetlands with fresh or brackish water from Florida and the Gulf Coast of Texas to Central and South America