Roseate Spoonbill:


Is it the luminous pale pink plumage with red highlights or the long bill with the spoon shaped tip that so enchants those lucky enough to view this long-legged wader that is a member of the ibis family?



The spatulate bill of this species has an important function. It has sensitive nerve endings that help the spoonbill detect prey. As it sweeps the bill from side to side through shallow water, the spoonbill encounters small fish, shrimp, crayfish, fiddler crabs and aquatic insects, which it snaps up and swallows.

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FWC Facts:
Red tides have been documented along Florida's Gulf coast since the 1840s and likely occurred earlier. Fish kills around Tampa Bay were mentioned in the logs of Spanish explorers.

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