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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Roseate Spoonbill Groupies

Wow, I didn't know what the inside of their mouth looked like. They sweep the big spoon-shaped bill back and forth in the water and snap it closed on a fish located by touch. Look at the ridges inside the bill, maybe helping hold the fish, or keeping the fish from escaping.

This one is preening, but I noticed the silver ban on the rightt leg and the red band on the upper left leg. Put on by scientists who study their distribution and movements.

Synchrony. Much of the flock was doing the same things at the same time.

This is a first year bird, notice the white feathered head and pale pink wings. It takes 2 years to reach adult plumage.

After resting and preening, they took off and went to feed. Looks like a big pink "M."

The group hanging together.

Today at Ding Darling there were over 50 Roseate Spoonbills in the first pond, quite an impressive number. And they were fairly close to the road, thrilling the birders and photographers who lined up to watch and snap. They were doing just about all the things Roseate Spoonbills do. Quite a show!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these amazing photos. I almost fell off my chair when I thought I would check your blog just in case. These are my favorite bird. I work with a few of them at an aquarium and they are amazing. So playful and curious. I have had those beaks investigate my eyelashes! There is actually a raised bump of the tip of the top beak probably aids in capturing prey along with very good feeling all the way down the beak. They can tell the difference between food items with the slightly touch of their beak. Thanks so much for the amazing posts keep 'em coming:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your awesome spoonbill photos. What a great bird. You can report your banded bird sighting at There is a link on the left side of the page, "Report a Spoonbill Sighting." You may be able to zoom in on your photo of the red band and read the letters/numbers. That would be a great help. Keep up the good photography and posts.