A Roseate Spoonbill was the first bird I took a picture on January 1, 2023 and started me on my bird photography odyssey.
How could anyone not stop to take a picture of this bright pink bird with its shocking red eye and unusual spoon-shaped bill? Fortunately for me, they spend a lot of time at Orlando Wetlands and nearby Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in the winter and early spring before returning in November.
They can be found in parts of Florida, Texas, the Caribbean and South America. According to AllAboutBirds.com, they are one of only six spoonbill species in the the world and the only one in the Americas.
“The other 5 spoonbills (Eurasian, Royal, African, Black-faced, and Yellow-billed) occur in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia,” the website says.
Interesting, as they get older, they go bald — losing feathers on top of their heads. I can usually tell a younger spoonbill from an older one by looking for the bald spot or checking to see if their spoonbill is still a little orange (for younger birds) or white or gray (for older ones).
Here are some of my favorite Roseate Spoonbill pictures I have taken since January 2023.