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Family Portrait - The Spoonbills

This family Roseate Spoonbills was seen at the Alligator Farm in St Augustine, Florida.
The roseate spoonbill is a large wading bird known for its pink plumage and distinctive spoon-shaped bill.

They forage by sweeping their partly opened spoon-shaped bill through the water, feeling and looking for crustaceans such as shrimp, prawns, aquatic insects, and fish. Once they feel the prey on their bill they snap it closed, often swallowing the item whole.

Roseate Spoonbills nest in colonies with egrets, ibises, and herons, typically on islands or over standing water. They tend to put their nests in the shadiest part of the tree or shrub, up to 16 feet high.

 In colonies males bob their heads up and down while shaking nearby twigs to get the attention of a female. Interested pairs may bite each other's bills or may raise their outstretched wings above their body. Once paired, males present females with sticks, which they shake while holding them in their bills. Pairs generally stay together only for one breeding season.

Female spoonbills create deep, well-constructed nests out of sticks using materials brought to them by males. A female lays a clutch of one to five eggs. Both parents share incubation duties, which last about 22 to 24 days. A newly hatched chick has mostly pink skin with a sparse covering of white down. The parents feed the chick by dribbling regurgitated material into the baby's upturned bill. After one month, the chick will begin to exercise by clambering through the branches or foliage surrounding the nest, and by six weeks, it will have developed wing feathers large enough for flight.

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  • Image type: image/jpeg
  • Resolution: 72/1
  • Created: 16th April 2019
  • Uploaded: 20th April 2019
  • Category: Nature
  • Views: 15
  • Likes: 14