The Roseate Spoonbills are among the most beautiful visitors to Avery Island, with their pink plumage. Like flamingos, their pink color comes from the crustaceans they feed on. They feed by sweeping their open bills back and forth through shallow water until they sift up insects, small fish, snails, crustaceans, and the like. During the late 1800's, Roseate Spoonbills were hunted nearly to extinction, because their feathers were in demand as decorations for ladies' hats. After being made a protected species in the 1940's, their population gradually recovered. Today they are found along the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.
This large bird was photographed after landing on an uncertain branch in the Buttonwood tree nearest the observation platform at Bird City in Jungle Gardens.