Roseate Spoonbills and Snowy Egrets were wading in a shallow pond at Kiplinger Nature Preserve off Kanner Highway in Stuart the other day.
It’s 157 acres of pine and scrub flatwoods, plus freshwater and mangrove swamp at the edge of the South Fork of the St. Lucie River. You can hear traffic noise in most parts of the preserve, otherwise it seems quite remote and natural.
The spoonbills were blasé as the snowies trooped and fussed past.
Two species of wading bird that seem to have no need of camouflage. They were easy to spot through the woods from the trail.
I was using my new Christmas camera, a Nikon D850 with a 28-300mm lens. I have a lot to learn, but I’m excited!
From All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology…
The flamboyant Roseate Spoonbill looks like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book with its bright pink feathers, red eye staring out from a partly bald head, and giant spoon-shaped bill. Groups sweep their spoonbills through shallow fresh or salt waters snapping up crustaceans and fish.
The Roseate Spoonbill is the only one of the six spoonbill species found in the Americas.
Roseate Spoonbills get their pink coloration from the foods they eat. Crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates contain pigments called carotenoids that help turn their feathers pink.