The Roseate Spoonbill is one of the newest birds to join the Birdorable family. Here are some fun facts about this unique species.
1. The collective noun for spoonbills is bowl. Have you ever seen a bowl of Roseate Spoonbills?
2. Roseate Spoonbills get their pink color from their food! They feed on crustaceans who in turn have fed on algae.
3. In parts of their range, especially in Florida, Roseate Spoonbills are sometimes confused with another large pink wading bird: the flamingo.
4. There are six species of spoonbill in the world; the Roseate Spoonbill is the only one with pink plumage.
5. The Roseate Spoonbill is also the only spoonbill species found in the Americas.
6. The beaks of chick spoonbills are straight; the spoon-shape grows as the chick develops.
7. Spoonbills use their specialized bills to feed. They sweep their open bills through the water, and when a prey item like a fish or insect comes between the mandibles, the bill snaps shut.
8. The oldest wild Roseate Spoonbill was discovered in the Florida Keys in 2006. The bird had been banded in 1990, and was an amazing 16 years old. The previous known longevity record for the species was seven years.
9. Roseate Spoonbills are highly social. They feed with each other and with other wading birds. They also nest in colonies and fly in flocks.