Teaspoon, Tablespoon & Rosalito
2-3 ft Long, 3-4 ft Wingspan
Up to 25 years in captivity
Fish, Shrimp, Bugs, Slugs, Plants
South America, Caribbean, Gulf Coast of U.S.
Tide Pools, Mangrove Swamps, Coastal Areas with Salt & Fresh Water
Spoonbills prefer freshwater to salt water, but can find food in either. These animals have large, flat bills that are used for straining marine life from the water. As the bird travels through the water, it sweeps its bill from side to side in the water and snaps it shut the moment it feels a shrimp, bug or fish. Spoonbills spend much of their day hunting for food.
The female Roseate Spoonbill weaves a nest from sticks and reeds. She then lays a clutch of 3 eggs. Chicks hatch one at a time, rather than at the same time and require constant care and feeding for a few weeks. The newly hatched chicks do not have the characteristic “spoonbill” of their parents, but have a short, straight bill until they mature.
Many of the marshy areas that spoonbills use for hunting and breeding have been drained for mosquito control and real estate development.
ANIMAL FUN FACT!
Roseate Spoonbills were once hunted for their feathers, which were used in hat-making. Protected nesting sites were established during the 1940’s.