Biome: Southern Swamps
Biography: These beautiful wading birds are adapted to life in a warm, wet habitat, like the Everglades. Roseate spoonbills are the only pink birds native to North America, for American flamingos are found here only as straggling migrants or escapees from zoos and parks.
The necks and backs of adult spoonbills are white, with the stomachs and wings ranging from pink to patches of deep red, ending with a bright yellow-orange tail. While wading, their soft, spoon-shaped bills move from side to side in the water in a sweeping arc. When the nerve endings in their bills make contact with food, the bills snap shut trapping their prey. In the wild, this food consists of killifish, other small fry, crustaceans, aquatic larvae, insects and small amounts of vegetation. The spoonbills are fed a commercial flamingo diet, high in the vitamins and minerals that keep them healthy. These important nutrients help to retain their brilliant plumage.