Monday, August 04, 2008

Roseate Spoonbills

A friend of mine who lives in Texas would occasionally send me photos he'd taken of these birds on South Padre Island's nature preserve - the same South Padre Island that just endured the hurricane last month. In the winter and early spring, Roseate Spoonbills flock to the island's coastal marshes and lagoons along with many other sea birds.
In the US, they are found only along the edges of the Gulf Coast, so there's not much chance for me to see them though I always wanted to. I finally did see spoonbills in the aviary at the Bermuda Zoo. So, I took my own photos and used them for this painting. Here is a spoonbill in its natural habitat spreading its wings while others feed on fish and small crustaceans in the tidal marsh beyond.
Spoonbills are related to the Ibis. They are so called for their spoon-like bills which are used for scooping food from the water. They fly in a V formation or in a line with their necks outstretched, unlike herons which tuck their necks. Like herons they nest in colonies. Besides the Gulf States, they are found as far south as Chile and Argentina.
At the Bermuda Aviary, one of these birds sidled up to me curiously almost close enough for me to reach out and touch it!

  • This painting has been sold, but you can find more of my bird paintings in my Etsy shop:

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