Well, this is one of my last wildlife videos from Florida. I hope to be able to gather some more soon! They probably won't be from Florida though :) Anyhow, this is a Roseate Spoonbill (and you should recognize his Wood Stork companion), feeding in a pond in the Everglades. You can see his spoon-shaped bill - you'll never guess how it got its name. It uses the flattened part of its bill to sift through mud and muck to catch little aquatic invertebrates and hunts mostly by touch, like the Wood Stork. The bald head is something else they share, and although there are several theories, no one knows exactly why this is beneficial for them, although we suspect it has something to do with how it sticks its whole face underwater. The side-to-side movement is a very typical feeding behavior for this species. Like flamingos, the pink coloration is a by-product of carotinoid pigments (specifically canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, if you want to get all scientific) in its diet. They're beautiful birds, and I was really lucky to see a few! I hoped to have excellent news this week on the writing front - and I do! I've finished my list of changes for the King's Mark revision, and I'm on to the final polish. I plan to have it complete by the end of the week, so my dad can read it on the plane when he heads overseas next weekend. However, all this work means I haven't been doing much thinking about other things, like blog topics... so here's an alligator! Distracted yet? No? Now?
Labels: birding, photos, revision, video, wildlife