Thursday, April 21, 2016

Crops & Clips: Roseate Spoonbill

Before leaving for our walk, I stepped out into the darkness of our back patio to capture the pre-dawn sky. Neighbors' homes (and their fences, if you look closely) cast reflections on the surface of the lake:

Sunrise Monaco Lake HDR 20160408

Out in the wetlands just before sunrise, a Great Blue Heron was mirrored on the undisturbed surface of the lake:

Great Blue Heron before sunrise 2-20160408

It was a great morning to find a Roseate Spoonbill!

 View to North HDR  20160407

These magnificent birds rarely visit our local wetlands. I saw two at a great distance and the next day one of them showed up in a small pool of water which had been cut off from the lake as water levels receded. As the pool diminished in size it concentrated fish and other marine organisms, a protein-rich "soup" for waders. There was barely room for the foraging herons, ibises and a yellowlegs which joined the spoonbill.

The spoonbill surprised me as it emerged from behind some vegetation. A Greater Yellowlegs waded alongside it:

Roseate Spoonbill HDR 20160410

Like the spoonbill, the immature White Ibis next to it is also a tactile feeder, clamping down on any organism which touch its sensitive bill. The spoonbill sweeps the water in hopes of encountering its prey, while the ibis keeps its bill partially open as it walks along:

Roseate Spoonbill HDR 08-20160410

Two Snowy Egrets hunt next to the spoonbill. Sight feeders, the egrets probably benefit when the spoonbill and ibis stir up the fish and frighten them out into the open:

Roseate Spoonbill HDR 07-20160410

Roseate Spoonbill HDR 02-20160410

Roseate Spoonbills are a favorite subject. This one visited our birding patch in December, 2012:

Roseate Spoonbill in flight 3-20121205

Roseate Spoonbill 3-20121205

A large flock was present at a Stormwater Treatment Area (STA-5) in Hendry County in February, 2015:

Roseate Spoonbills 2-20150228

Roseate Spoonbill 3-20100215

This was my first photo of a spoonbill, back in 2009, soon after I purchased my Canon 30D:

Spoonbill in Flight 20091227

Several Wood Storks flew over, a welcome sight which meant that water levels are once again favorable for their feeding habits:

Wood Stork before sunrise HDR 20160414
This stork had foraged in the same pool only days earlier:

Wood Stork HDR 04-20160405

The spoonbills' first visit to our neighborhood provided a nice opportunity to record their feeding habits in a video. (I thought I had lost my New Jersey accent after all these years!)

If the video fails to load, please click THIS LINK

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Fantastic post, great photos and video. You have a wealth of beautiful birds down your way. Fun to see. Nice to hear your voice. My brother-in-law who visited us recently - he is English but lives in Germany - said I have a mid-Atlantic accent now. I couldn't tell any difference in his.

  2. Lovely shots all. Loved that first skyscape.

  3. Hello, gorgeous skies and reflections. I just love the Spoonbills, cool birds and great photos. Have a happy Thursday!

  4. An absolutely gorgeous series, Kenneth, and the reflections are phenomenal! Your header is brilliant as well!

  5. beautiful array of shorebirds! love the stork's feet (assume breeding season does that). i was completely enamored by the gbh shot, though. :)

  6. Lovely pre-dawn sky.
    Amazing birds, The spoonbills are quite fascinating.

  7. What a great photos! Your writing is also so interesting. Spoonbills are new birds to me. The Roseate spoonbill has so wonderful colors.

  8. Well, once I was able to tear myself away from that first gorgeous image, I found a series of incredibly wonderful photographs! Hard to argue with how photogenic the spoonbills are! Enjoyed your video, Ken. (What accent??) :)

  9. Hello Ken, wonderful photos of the birds. My favorites are the Wood Stork and Spoonbills. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  10. Wow...can't pick a favorite this week..they are all so good!

  11. How wonderful to see these beautiful birds in the wild. It's always a surprise to get out in nature with your camera! Enjoy your weekend!

  12. I really enjoyed the video! I live in FL so your accent sounds just about right! Mine is the one that's out of place...a serious Southern drawl! lol

  13. love the colors in the sky and it is so moody and creative. I love the wonderful birds, especially the spoonbills.

  14. Stunning, crisp and clear wildlife photography here.

    Have an amazing weekend!

    Alex's World! -

  15. My first visit on your blog and I'm impressed with this post, the fantastic selection of photos and the very informative commentary. The video is great too. The only time I saw spoonbills in the wild was in NSW Australia, but they were white ones. These pink ones are gorgeous.

  16. I have not seen any wood storks for a while...I guess it's too early for them in our area. But the Spoonbills in all their glorious breeding plumage...wonderful.

    Love the early morning walks too as you do.

    Thanks for stopping by to add your post link to today's I'd Rather B Birdin' linking tool. Much appreciated as always.

  17. Beautiful place offering view such lovely sunrise and birds.

  18. never ever saw one in flight before

  19. The only bird that I have seen (pictured in your post) was the heron. So, seeing them in all their poses was great fun.

  20. Another great post! The Spoonbill is so unique and beautiful.

  21. How can so much beauty come out of a computer screen! Your posts always leave me breath-less! That sunrise for just a start, and then every shot after it! Beautiful! And, loved seeing the video.

  22. Very beautiful pictures, glad to have come to your blog! The first one is stunning.

  23. Wow - so fabulously beautiful!

  24. Lovely new header. I like the colouring of the Spoonbills. Your sunrise shot is wonderful too.

  25. Incredible shots. I love the spoonbill. Beautiful blog. B

  26. Great shots, all wonderful ....
    I congratulate on this fantastic Images.
    Love greetings Karin

  27. All beautiful pictures, and I wish I could frame the one of the four species together enjoying the "soup." I love that.

  28. OMG, I just love your pics and info. Fabulous pics of the spoonbill. Hope I see them one day and can snap as elegant ics as yours.

  29. Those s'bills are such a remarkable colour. Ours are not as flamboyant!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  30. Really nice images. The first couple ones of the Spoonbill make the bill rather scary:) I want to bird Florida again so bad. But I think it's black fly time, gnats, no see-ums, chiggers...or whatever they call them. I remember my first time birding at Bunche Beach and at Ding Darling......oh the pain:)

  31. Gorgeous photos! The sunrise is fabulous.


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