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Roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)

Roseate spoonbill
Roseate spoonbillRoseate spoonbill

Personal Information
The Seneca Park Zoo has one roseate spoonbill, a female who hatched in 1994. She arrived at the Zoo in 1995. She is very visible in the Aviary and sometimes comes down to the water to visit with people.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. There are estimated to be 100,000 to 250,000 roseate spoonbills in the wild.

Habitat
The range of the roseate spoonbill is 8 million square kilometers. It inhabits coastal lagoons, mud flats and mangrove thickets in the southeastern United States and West Indies to Argentina and Chile.

Diet
Roseate spoonbills eat small crustaceans, insects, fish, amphibians, worms and also some seeds and vegetation.

  • The roseate spoonbill has a special broad and flat spoon-shaped bill that allows it to filter through muddy water for food. The bill is like a detector, sensitive to vibration.
  • The diet of a roseate spoonbill has a natural pigment called canthaxanthin in it, which makes them pink.
  • Twig nests are built in bush and over waterways, especially in mangrove trees.
  • Of the six species of spoonbills, only the roseate spoonbill inhabits the Western Hemisphere.
  • Roseate spoonbills can feed in salt, fresh or brackish water.