Florida’s Other Pink Birds are the Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill is Florida’s other wild, pink bird.

Most people associate flamingos with Florida, but we have other birds that are pink. The Roseate Spoonbill is quite an interesting, and eye-catching bird. It is large, with long legs like the flamingo, but the color is more pink and white.

Roseate spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbill

The big difference in the two birds is the beak. Flamingos have short hooked beaks whereas the Spoonbill has a long, flat bill.

The Roseate Spoonbill is a state designated threatened species. As is true with so much of Florida’s wildlife, their habitat is disappearing.

I have never seen a wild flamingo strolling around Florida. However, they do exist in the southern part of the state. I have however seen the Roseate Spoonbill.

Roseate spoonbill

All photos on this page are shared courtesy of the photographers of Pixabay.

One day when we traveled by boat down through Haulover Canal and out into the wide open waters of Mosquito Lagoon, I saw a flock of beautiful pink birds flying to one of the islands. That is when I discovered this beautiful (also pink) tropical bird that lives in my area.

flying roseate spoonbills

We have come across the Spoonbill sitting quietly on a tree limb along the backwater places we sometimes travel in our boat. To be clear, the Spoonbill is a rare sighting for us.

roseate spoonbills

Where Are Roseate Spoonbills Found?

In the US they can be seen along coastal areas of Florida – I am on the east coast and yes, they are here. See their Florida distribution at the FWC website.

Read more about the Spoonbill at Audobon.org. and be sure to view their photos, which are gorgeous and amazing!

More stories on this blog

Bigger and Better Florida

Growth in Florida means more high rise condos and hotels and means fewer beach houses in the old Florida style like the one the hurricanes destroyed in 2004.

People love to come to Florida for the sun, beaches and paradise lifestyle. And Florida is set up to accommodate all of that. We have drive on beaches and so many restaurants and fast food joints that no one will ever go hungry. Just look at the bulging bellies as you cruise the beach! It’s the good life, don’t you know.

Ever since I moved south in 1979, I’ve seen lots of changes to the state and mostly they are to make roads bigger and wider, clear out acres of woodlands to put up condos and shopping centers, and lets not forget all that fast food! I guess many places are dealing with overcrowding, but it seems accelerated here.

This page is about one such replacement of an old beach house that became a multi-level hotel.

The House Next to Breakers

The iconic Breakers restaurant is the pink building you can’t miss at the end of Flagler Ave. I’ve eaten here a number of times, and the food is always good, but that right-on-the-beach / ocean view is superior to most water-view eateries in my area. During the day you can watch the beach people as you eat and in the evening enjoy views of the sparking ocean water.

I wonder how many people know what happened here in 2004 and how the coastline (and Florida) has changed.

Flagler Ave. beach entrance ramp from the beach
Flagler Ave. beach entrance ramp in New Smyrna Beach

Florida changes very fast. Hotels, buildings, and houses are built practically overnight. Green spaces are cleared daily to make space for the ever increasing new residents and tourist growth.

A new hotel has now taken the spot of small, residential housing along the valuable coastline in New Smyrna Beach. This is thanks to some wicked hurricanes. (Most tourists never have to deal with those either.)

Breakers and new hotel next door
Spring Hill Suites, is a brand new hotel right on the beach

Compare the photo above to the one below. I took them both, but years apart. In 2004, the year before we moved to New England, our area of Florida was hit with three hurricanes within about 6 weeks time. Charlie, Frances and Jeanne are names that are forever etched on the minds of Floridians who lived through long power outages, suffocating heat (the storms hit in August and September), and devastated homes, land, trees and beaches.

The photo below is mine and I used it to make a calendar for my Zazzle store. I bought the calendar, so I have this photo to reference because I have no idea where my old photos would be. You can see the same yellow hotel to the right, with most of the palm fronds blown off the trees.

Flagler Ave after Hurricanes of 2004 with house falling into the sea
This house was next door to Breakers Restaurant

I think there were 2 houses side-by-side but I am not sure. I took this photo out the window of the Breakers restaurant where we were eating at the time. Breakers was closed right after this for repairs. We had traveled from our home, which was 30 miles inland, to see what was happening at the beach after the hurricanes. It was sad to see the beach was gone, leaving such devastation behind.

Now, many years later, there is a new hotel in the spot where those houses used to sit. (Spring Hill Suites) It looks like a nice place for all the tourists to stay and I’m sure it’s a big money-maker. Personally I liked the look of beach houses, but that was part of “old Florida”. And it seems that the hurricanes made the place unlivable.

But New Florida is concerned with making money, and that is my gripe with this place. When ecology and the environment take a back seat to keeping people happy, we begin to lose what is truly good about this place.

It began years ago, and it’s not getting better. We do have conservation committees, and people who are trying to make changes for the better. I doubt they will get far when they are going up against big money hotel chains, car dealerships, and shopping centers.

Like I tell my son, if you see a green space, take a photo because the next time you go to that area it may be gone. That’s Florida. Tourists don’t mind because they are here to have fun. Big business doesn’t mind because they are making loads of money. On it goes, but for how long before there is no more for this state to give?

Paradise, or so it seems

Flagler Ave beach entrance
February 2019, Flagler Ave beach in evening

Sandhill Cranes, The Big Birds of Florida

I worry about Sandhill Cranes, as I worry about almost all of Florida’s wildlife – except maybe the gators. Alligators creep me out, and they don’t have much except for man that can kill them. And even then, special permits are needed, and the capturing is not easy, as you can imagine. But they all came first and lived in this swampy jungle which is disappearing minute by minute.

Animals that depend on land and clean water to live are quickly running out of both in the Sunshine State. In the photo below we had two lots full of trees and “wilderness” next to us when we first moved into our house – that is the greenery in the top of the photo. Now both lots have been cleared – completely, big oaks and all – to put up 2 new houses. It’s the Florida way.

Three sand hill cranes on our lawn
Adult and 2 juvenile Sandhill Cranes in my front yard

I took the short video below to capture their “talk” as they walked through my neighbor’s yard.

Sandhill cranes in my Florida yard
Nosey Sandhill Cranes, walking past

Often you can hear the cranes coming because they are loud. Sometimes they silently stroll through the yard. We had dragged the kayaks out for a cleaning and I think the cranes were curious as to what we were up to. The three of them walked right up near the house even though we were outside! My son took some video.

One day Floridians will no longer get to see these beauties. I like to imagine what Florida was like before people came here. It was a wild swampland full of strange, beautiful and deadly creatures. People are “taming” it into something unnatural, which it was never meant to be.

See a Sandhill Crane Nest and Babies (One Hatching)

The photographer and blogger at Cat and Turtle wrote and photographed Sandhill Cranes on their nest with a baby and one hatching.

Please go here to read the entire article and see the adorable baby Sandhill Crane.

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