AKA: Identification: Nesting: Spoonbills nest in dense mangrove forest areas. Generally found on isolated islands of Florida Bay nesting in December, January, and February. It is one sign of spring to have the spoonbills return from nesting area. Here, there are about two dozen bachelors that do not migrate or nest. The nests are deeply hollowed with 3-5 dull white eggs with spots.

Food: Roseates use their spooned beak by weaving or waving from side to side through the water. Sensitive nerve endings allow the bird to feel when the beak comes in contact with food and it shuts its strainer. They munch on small fish, shellfish, insects, and shrimp and other amphipods. They have been known to feed in both salt and fresh water. Roseate maintain their pink color through the foods they eat.

Range: Southern Florida and Texas, the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bahamas, and northern South America.

Behavior: When flying in flocks, the birds generally form a diagonal line. The head and neck are always outstretched. The wing beat is slow and long.

The spoonbills were once hunted in large numbers. Stories are told of a single days harvest of two men equaling 200-300 birds. The wings were used as fashionable fans. Tragically, most birds were hunted at the peak of nesting season.

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