Just getting started with bird watching? Even beginning bird watchers should have little difficulty identifying this spectacular bird!
Look for a large, shocking-pink bird with an enormous spoon-shaped bill in Florida, Louisiana and Texas coastal wetlands. These social birds are usually found in groups, and nest communally in trees near water. During breeding season the pink plumage ratchets up a few notches for nesting adults, much to the delight of birders and photographers.
Once nearly extirpated in the U.S. due to rookery disturbance and demand for feathers in the ladies hat trade of the 1800s and 1900s, it has recovered somewhat and can be found in suitable habitat in several Gulf coast states.
Spoonbills use their long, curiously-shaped bills to feed in an interesting manner. They wade through shallow waters with their bill tips (the "spoon" part) slightly open, heads swaying from side to side, ready to snap their bills shut when they feel prey such as fish and aquatic invertebrates, which they catch almost entirely by their sense of touch.
While nothing can be guaranteed in the world of bird watching, roseate spoonbills can be common in the proper season and habitat at these refuges: