Roseate Spoonbills have been mistaken for flamingos, until you get a close look at their long spoon-shaped bill. Then there is no comparison. Their name comes from their bright pink feathers and odd shaped bill. Their coloration comes from the crustaceans they eat.
Males and females are very similar with the male being somewhat larger with longer bills.
Spoonbills have adapted to hunt by touch instead of sight since they feed in muddy or vegetation-clogged waters. They hunt while wading no deeper than knee level. They keep their bill slightly open while sweeping their heads in a side-to-side motion.
These birds are very social in nature and are often found with other waders as well as other Spoonbills. Which is very beneficial since while feeding they keep their head down for long periods of time. The other birds provide warning of danger. If the Spoonbill group is alone one of the Roseate will act as a sentry.
|Roseate Spoonbills were almost hunted to extinction and in the 1940s they were placed on the endangered list. They were hunted to near extinction to supply the millinery trade for ladies hats or fans. In the 1930s Florida's population was down to less than 40 nesting pairs. They are no longer on the endangered list.