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With its pink plumage, red eyes, and large spoon-
Adult birds, two years and older, have a bald greenish head, a black nape band, scarlet wing coverts, and a pale grayish bill with dark ridges near the base. Younger birds are pale pink, lack the scarlet coverts and black nape band, have a white feathered head, and a smooth bill.
Spoonbills feed in shallow water, sweeping their open bills from side to side to sift up food like small fish, shrimp, mollusks, snails, and insects. There are touch receptors in the bill that aid the birds in feeling their prey. They may be with other wading birds.
The Spoonbill population was nearly eliminated in the late 1800s as water colonies were destroyed. Re-
Images on this page were taken in the little Estero Lagoon in Fort Myers Beach, Circle B Bar Reserve, Myakka River State Park, pond in back of Walmart on Kings Highway in Port Charlotte, and an island rookery on the Peace River north of Punta Gorda.