Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Roseate Spoonbill

Flamingos aren't the only large, pink, wading birds out there. Roseate Spoonbills, actually get confused with Flamingos on occasion, but are are one of a handful of Spoonbill species found within the genus Plateinae. They around found at various parts of the year in the southern United States and throughout areas of of South America. Roseate Spoonbills are migratory birds, moving during the breeding season. They are monogamous.

Image from Nature Works
Roseate Spoonbills are quite striking. They stand over 80cm tall, and have 125cm wingspans. Their feathers are a bright pink color and were prized in the construction of ladies fans at the turn of the century. These feathers were so popular that the species numbers drastically declined and they had to be legally protected.

Roseate Spoonbills feed mostly off of fish, with a spattering of crustaceans and mollusks. Their long bill is extremely sensitive and will snap shut if prey swims past it. They have nostrils placed high up on the bill, which allows them to keep it submerged for long periods of time, creating whirlpools that draw in prey.

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