Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill – breeding
Roseate Spoonbill juvenile
Roseate Spoonbill – non-breeding

Roseate Spoonbills are one of six species of Spoonbills in the world and are the only species to reside in the Americas. 

Adult Roseate Spoonbills are uniquely colored and patterned making them easily recognizable among their species. They have bright pink shoulders and wings, and dark pink legs. With bald, yellowish-green heads, red eyes, and gray spoon-shaped bills. Their necks and upper back are white and they have a black nape.

Breeding Roseate Spoonbills have a golden buff on their heads and they have a tuft of pink feathers in the center. 

Juveniles are paler pink, and have a completely feathered head, pinkish-gray spoon-shaped bill, and dark legs.

  • Platalea ajaja
  • Length: 30 – 40 in (76 – 102 cm) 
  • Weight: 52 – 53 oz (1474 – 1502 g)
  • Wingspan: 50 – 53 in (127 – 135cm )


Roseate Spoonbills are resident in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Roseate Spoonbills in mangroves, saltwater lagoons, and large, shallow lakes, with an abundant supply of aquatic invertebrates. 

Roseate Spoonbills are large wading birds so they usually forage for food in shallow fresh or coastal waters. They use their large spoon-shaped bills and move them from side to side to capture crustaceans, insects, frogs, and small fish.

Once they feel that their prey is on their bill, they immediately snap their bills closed and swallow their prey whole. 

Roseate Spoonbill Call:


Nests of Roseate Spoonbills are mixed in colonies with other wading birds like egrets, ibises, and herons. They prefer to nest on mangroves, trees, or shrubs in islands or over standing water. They choose the shadiest part of a tree, even if it’s as high as 16 feet to put their nests in. 

The male collects twigs, sticks, and other materials and leaves it up to the female to construct the nest. After building the nest, the female lays up to five eggs and both parents incubate for around twenty-three days. 

Fun Fact:

The pink coloration of the Roseate Spoonbills comes from the food that they eat. Their color can change from pale to bright pink depending on their age, breeding season, and location.