Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bird of the Week: Roseate Spoonbill

 The roseate spoonbill is one of my favorite wading birds. They range from the southern United States down into Argentina and Chile. Their bill is shaped like a ...spoon. The tip has sensitive nerve endings that help it detect prey while it sweeps its bill side to side in the water. These guys eat small fish, crayfish, shrimp, crabs, and aquatic insects. During breeding season the adults' heads become a copper-buff color. They form monogamous couples that roost in colonies, often with other wading birds, in trees and shrubs. They will often use mangroves! Both ma and pa incubate the eggs for about 4 weeks. The young will stay in the nest being fed by both parents for 35-42 days.
Roseate spoonbills were a favorite victim of plume hunters at the turn of the century, their beautiful pink plumage was highly sought after! At one point, there were only 30 to 40 breeding pairs forming small colonies in Florida Bay. But full legal protection and conservation efforts have led to the species recovery.

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