An illustrated Roseate Spoonbill dips down its beak.

As the sun comes up, Rosy and her squad of funny looking friends strut across the shallows, swinging their heads across the surface…

They have long legs for wading, long necks for swinging and long beaks for gobbling up snacks. If you follow Rosy, she’ll hide. If you find her, she’ll squawk. It’s like hide-and-seek, but then she’s on her way again, swishing across the shallows. Wow, she seems hungry!

Biology in the Wild

Standing nearly three feet tall, with lovely pink plumage, the roseate spoonbill moves in a way that might seem comical, but it allows them to cover a lot of ground as they swish their bill through the water. They keep their bill slightly open, snapping it shut when they hit a shrimp or tiny fish. Their nostril holes are close to their eyes so they can breathe even when most of their bill is submerged. 100 years ago the spoonbill’s pink hue made them a favorite in women’s fashion, and they were nearly hunted to extinction. Today they’re protected and range along the coast from Louisiana to Florida, and also live in South America, as far away as Chile. Roseate spoonbills love finding food in shallow water, making the Everglades a perfect home–but coastal development threatens other places where they live.