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The Roseate Spoonbill

Beautiful from a distance, but odd looking up close with its long flat bill, the roseate spoonbill is a bird that was nearly extirpated for its feathers for the millinery industry in the late 1800’s. This species re-colonized the Gulf coast shoreline marshes from Florida to Texas in the early 1900’s and the population rebounded.

This bird is aptly named for the shape of its bill. Spoonbills wade in shallow muddy waters of salt and fresh water marshes moving their bill from side to side to filter tiny bits of food from the water.

Roseate spoonbills also live in many areas of South America. Novice birders often mistaken this bird for a flamingo, but there really is no comparison.

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