Top 5 FUNky Facts About The Roseate Spoonbill

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IMG_2987-WDW-DAK-roseate-spoonbill🙂 One morning this past March, I found a pair of roseate spoonbills in the Oasis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As I pointed my camera at them, they regarded me with their red-rimmed eyes as though a bit suspicious of the hunk of hardware in my hand (Canon SX110 IS). Today I decided to try and find out a bit more about them, so here are my Top 5 FUNky Facts About The Roseate Spoonbill:

  1. Aside from vultures and raccoons, one of the biggest enemies of a young nestling roseate spoonbill is fire ants!
  2. One of the top places in the United States to observe the roseate spoonbill in its natural habitat is Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, located on Sanibel Island. I’ve seen them feeding there and roosting in Rookery Bay down in Naples, Florida – check out these posts.
  3. The roseate spoonbill sometimes assumes a “wing-lift posture” to dry off its wings, similar to other fishing birds like the anhinga.
  4. I’ve often mistaken the roseate spoonbill for a flamingo when at a distance (and stubbornly not wearing my glasses). However, they’re actually not related at all. They are more closely related to the ibis. Here are some posts about the scarlet ibis (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) and the white ibis (Sanibel Island).
  5. The head of the adult roseate spoonbill is sort of green, except when they are breeding – then, it turns a kind of golden color.
  6. The oldest known roseate spoonbill was found in 2006; it had been banded and the band showed it to be 16 years old!

Click the photos to see if a larger version is available in Flickr
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9 thoughts on “Top 5 FUNky Facts About The Roseate Spoonbill”

  1. Great facts! I have seen these birds on my visits to the Sunshine State! Have you ever read the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst? I used to teach it to my freshmen.

  2. One of my favorites! I watched them for a couple of hours over at the Merritt Island Refuge on the east coast a few years ago. We were on the 9-mile drive and from a distance I thought they were flamingos, but learned better when I stop and pulled out the binoculars. As we sat they came closer and closer. Very cool!

  3. What a lovely avian, resplendent in white. It is the subtlety of ruby that is so appealing. As is the shape of his bill – he can capture and devour and mud dweller he catches. there is no getting away from that bull!

  4. Do spoonbills fly south for the winter? We have a lot up here in North Florida but I wondered if they migrated southward when the weather gets cold.

    Anyone know??

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