Wildlife Encounter with Roseate Spoonbills
There’s nothing like getting out into nature to cheer the spirit. One place you can go to be sure of some interesting encounters is Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.
While photographing some fine Great White Egrets (Ardea alba) nesting at Rainey Lake. We were stunned by the graceful overflight of some bright pink water birds.
My first thought was “Flamingos?” , but on their second circling flight before settling to roost we noted their unique spatulate bills and short legs.
These beauties were Roseate Spoonbills (Platalea alaja) and we watched them, fascinated, through gaps in the foliage as they wheeled then settled upon exposed topmost branches of a tall tree! What remarkable birds.
We fell in love. These Spoonbills have all the grace of the ibises, the vivid pink plumage of flamingos and the curious nasal implements of the Paddlefish (also a denizen of the South’s great waterways). We carefully sought the correct focus through the foliage and Kimmie was diligent enough to get the manual focus right after I had turned the air quite blue and given up my initial vain attempts to bring these extraordinary birds into sharp definition.
It was hard not to laugh out loud when they fully extend their necks and nibble at their breast feathers when grooming.