The Roseate Spoonbill, a beautifully colored and unique species of birds and one out of six types of spoonbill. This Roseate Spoonbill is the only one found in the Americas and the Everglades. This Spoonbill is found along the south Florida coast, starting from the northern part of the Florida Keys to Tampa. The Roseate Spoonbill is known for its unique appearance, being pink in coloration with a white in color neck, variations on these shades are common. Often mistaken for a flamingo when in flight, their pink coloration similar to a flamingos is a result of their diet, of in which contains Crustaceans and other similar species found in the Florida Everglades. They contain carotenoids which are pigments that help turn the feathers pink.
Another noticeable feature of the spoonbill is its spoon shaped bill, in which the name derives from. When first born the baby spoonbill doesn’t have the spoon shape quite yet, when they are nine days old it begins to flatten and by thirty-nine days its full sized and flat.The purpose of this oddly shaped bill is for the way the Roseate Spoonbill feeds, It flies to a shallow part of the waters in the saw grass, lowers its partially opened bill into the water and moves its head side to side. Small creatures, more commonly fish bump the edge of the bird’s sensitive mandibles, and are captured with a quick snap of its bill. Another odd fact about the Roseate Spoonbill is the fact that they (a lot like humans) bald. They lose feathers on the top of their heads similar to how we lose our hair. These beautiful birds once were sought after and hunted for their brightly colored feathers, used in an earlier time for hats.
When taking an Everglades tour it is possible to see the roseate spoonbill in its natural habitat. After thirty three years of doing airboat rides and tours in the Florida Everglades my favorite bird is the roseate spoonbill. You just do not get tired of seeing these birds. They are an interesting bird to watch while they are feeding or in flight. Normally winter time is the best time to see them on an airboat ride. The water levels in the Everglades are lower and it is cooler outside.For more information on the roseate spoonbill visit Everglades National Park To Take an airboat ride in the Everglades in Fort Lauderdale Contact Us