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Roseate Spoonbill


Central and South America, southern coastal states in United States.


Tropical forests, bays, lakes, and ponds.


Beautiful rose-colored plumage mixed with white. Long slender legs. Spoonlike bill that widens in the front. Three long toes on the front of the foot for balance and a shorter toe in the back. Orange tail.

Roseate Spoonbill Click to View Bigger Picture

The spoonbill lives in colonies in tropical forest climates. Forages by swishing bill back and forth through the water, capturing invertebrates.


Nests are built on broken reeds or other marsh plants, as well as on willows, alders or other plant matter near or over water. Three to five eggs are laid in April or May. Incubation lasts 21 days. The young are cared for by both parents. Four weeks later they begin to leave the nest, and after another 4 weeks, they are able to fly. The young are born with the characteristic spoon-like bill.

Roseate Spoonbill Click to View Bigger Picture
Roseate Spoonbill
Class: aves
Genus: Ajaia
Species: ajaja
Length: 30 inches
Average Lifespan: 4
Wild Diet: Insects, larvae, crustacea, mollusks and other water animals as well as spawn.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Rainforest

Learn more about aves or animals from North America!
Or, cross-reference the two!

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