Ajaia ajaja Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
This large rose-pink bird with a spoon-shaped bill is unmistakable.
Spoonbills usually feed alone or in small flocks, sweeping their broad bill in a side-to side motion through the shallow water. They feed on invertebrates, small fish, mollusks and other small aquatic prey.
Spoonbills are usually found in coastal wetlands, mainly in mangroves and estuaries. They nest in large colonies together with ibis and herons, usually on mangrove islands.
Hunting for the plume trade greatly reduced Florida’s spoonbill population but the species recovered somewhat after laws were introduced to prevent hunting. Today, it is relatively easy to see this beautiful bird in Florida. However the greatest threats remain human disturbance and human destruction of their feeding and nesting habitat.
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