Almost every person I pass along the path after an afternoon of birding in Central Florida has the same question: “Are there any spoonbills out today?”
I have good news to share. Dozens of these glorious birds are not only visible across the marshes, but they’re at the height of breeding when their colors turn deep, rich hues of reddish pink.
Spoonbills are in the midst of an expansion in their range as changing climates and water levels are pushing the birds north throughout the southeastern U.S (Two prior posts on the trend can be found here and here.) That means swelling numbers of people are getting to see and quickly falling for these exotic birds. Their appeal is enormous, a species beyond beautiful and with gawky forms that echo their dinosaur ancestry.