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Roseate Spoonbill

Fact File

Continent: The Americas
Habitat: Marshes
Weight and Length: 1kg, 0.8m

Diet: Omnivore
Incubation: 23 days
Number of Young: 3

Conservation Status: LC


  • Are found in groups.
  • Feed by sweeping their bills side to side.
  • Is the only bird with a spoon bill in the Americas.
  • Feeds, roosts, and nests in groups.

Roseate Spoonbill

Platalea ajaja

Animals —  Aves (birds) — Pelecaniformes (pelican relatives) — Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)

Roseate spoonbills are recognisable mostly-pink spoonbills. Their heads are featherless and greenish, and they have white necks, backs and chests, but otherwise they are pink or pinkish-red. They may appear more pink in breeding season. Like flamingos, this feather colour comes from their food. Spoonbills all have straight beaks that have rounded ends, giving the appearance of a spoon, which inspired their names.

The roseate spoonbill is a social bird that nests in colonies. They are usually found in small flocks of their own species, but are often nearby other bird species. They are wading birds that move through shallow water, sweeping their beaks side to side in the mud to sift through it and find food items.

They are classified as “least concern”, their population mostly recovered from the devastating plume trade of the late 1800s and early 1900s, where feathers were used as decorations. Habitat loss is their biggest modern threat.

Habitat: Marshy areas including mangrove swamps, ponds, rivers and lagoons.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 1kg
–Average length: 0.8m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 16 years
In captivity up to: 28 years

Diet: They are omnivores and so eat plants and meat. Eat small fish, crustaceans, insects and plants.

Distribution: Found in the southeast US, through to Mexico and Central America to South America.