You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Roseate spoonbill

Platalea ajaja

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Species Type:


Common Name(s):

Roseate spoonbill


Roseate spoonbills can grow to about 2.5 feet (80 centimeters) tall and reach a wingspan of 4 feet (120 centimeters), making them skilled aviators!


Small fish such as minnows and killifish, shrimp, crayfish, crabs, aquatic insects, mollusks, slugs, the occasional root or stem of sedges.

Range & Habitat:

Residing in coastal environments, roseate spoonbills can be found in Florida, Texas and southern Louisiana. In South America, they have been spotted in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.


Pink in color with a long, narrow beak, roseate spoonbills are similar in appearance to flamingos, but they also have features that are unique to them. For example, spoonbills have a spoon-shaped bill to help them fish for prey, hence their name. Their long legs also help them search for food, allowing them to wade in aquatic marsh-like areas and mangroves. Eating large amounts of small fish and aquatic invertebrates, like shrimp, roseate spoonbills can turn a pinkish color. In the late 1800s, roseate spoonbills were targeted and hunted for their fashion-forward pink feathers to the extend that they became an endangered species. After many years of conservation efforts, the species is considered stable again.