Roseate SpoonbillPlatalea ajaja
30-32" (76-81 cm). W. 4'5" (1.3 m). Bill long and straight with broad spatulate tip from which the bird gets its name. Mainly white, with brilliant pink wings and flanks, and orange tail; shoulder rich crimson. Immature pale pink and white.
Low croaks and clucking sounds.
sounds at colony
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Mangroves and saltwater lagoons.
Resident locally on coasts of Texas, Louisiana (rare), and southern Florida. Also in American tropics.
These birds spend much time feeding in the shallow waters of Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on shrimp, small fish, snails, and aquatic insects, which they detect by their sense of touch as they rhythmically sweep their "spoon-shaped" bills from side to side. Early in the century their numbers were severely depleted by plume hunters, but with protective laws they have increased once again.
2 or 3 dull-white eggs, with dark spots and blotches, in a bulky nest of sticks built in a low bush or tree. Nests in colonies.