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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Here is a preening Roseate Spoonbill that looks like a big Valentine's Day heart. It has its right wing raised, and is preening its belly so you can't see its head, only its eye peeking out from its left side. Lillian couldn't resist taking this photo. Roseate (pronounced rosy-et) Spoonbills are amazing pink birds with big spoon-shaped bills that they use to swish through the water and catch little fish. The pink color always reminds us of cotton candy. They live primarily in Florida and the Gulf Coast. Here is another Roseate Spoonbill doing a balancing act as it lands on a perch. Note the shape of the bill. Many people who encounter a Spoonbill for the first time mistakenly think its a Flamingo because of the pink color. The bill of a Flamingo is much shorter and differently shaped than a Spoonbill's bill.

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