The roseate spoonbill is a large long-legged wading bird found in the Americas. Although very similar to the flamingo, this bird has something unique – the bill which looks like a spoon! Moreover, the nostrils are located near the base of the bill, which allows our friend breading while the bill is submerged in water. But, let’s learn something more about this beauty, shall we?
Where can we find the roseate spoonbill?
Quite distributed through South America, this bird is found mostly east of the Andes. However, it occurs in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. Heck, even from central Florida’s Atlantic coast at least as far north as South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach. What a range, right? Finally, our beauty lives and feels the best in coastal marshes, bays, lagoons, mangroves, and mudflats.
How does the roseate spoonbill look?
Well, the first two things you will notice on this beautiful bird is the amazing pink feather color and the bill that resembles a spoon. Moreover, the head is greenish, with a white neck, back, and breast. However, the colors can range from pale pink to bright magenta, depending on age, whether breeding or not, and location. But, did you know how can this beauty have such a beautiful pink color? The organic pigment called carotenoid is produced by its diet!
Hard to believe, but this spoonbill is a carnivore! It feeds in shallow fresh or coastal waters. Moreover, it hunts by swinging its bill from side to side, steadily walking through water. Therefore, our friend will feed on crustaceans, aquatic insects, frogs, newts, and very small fish.
Roseate spoonbills are serially monogamous, just like the magnificent frigatebirds, staying with one partner during one breeding season. Naturally, males are extremely territorial, and they constantly defend their families from intruders. The female lays 2 to 5 eggs, and both parents will incubate them for 22, 23 days. When born, the chicks are naked and helpless, fully dependent on their parents. Yet, after only 35 to 42 days the babies leave the nest and begin to fly when they are 7-8 weeks old.
Did you know the roseate spoonbills walk swinging their head back and forth in a sideways motion?
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