Over 100 of these head-turners live alongside the Snowy Egret in this spacious aviary filled with trees and wading pools. With its distinctive spatula shaped bill and stunning pink plumage, it is no wonder that the North American Roseate Spoonbill captures so much attention.
What A Scoop!
Its uniquely shaped beak enables the spoonbill to scoop food out of the water with ease. It is very sensitive and enables it to easily detect the presence of prey. With two small breathing slits close to the top of its bill, the Roseate Spoonbill can continue breathing whilst its beak is still submerged in the water. Similar to the flamingo and Scarlet Ibis, the Roseate Spoonbill gets its beautiful colour from its diet of crustaceans.
At one point in the mid to late 1800s, Roseate Spoonbills were almost driven to the brink of extinction. Their beautiful feathers were used to adorn ladies' fans, hats and screens and the species was therefore hunted intensely, even though their colours were known to fade quickly. Draining of their wetland habitat and pollution also caused its number to dwindle. Thankfully, a combination of strict legislation enacted in the 1940s and watchful protection of breeding areas in sanctuaries, has the species seen a healthy recovery in numbers.