Archive for February 16th, 2011


2/16/2011: Rosy spoons

I am, as you see, still working through the images, mostly digiscoped, from my visit to Florida’s Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival. On of the highlights of a trip to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in January is the Roseate Spoonbills coming into breeding plumage. Then again, the Spoonbills at MINWR always seem particularly bright…according to my sources, the color comes from the algae the crustaceans eat when the Spoonbill in turn eats them. There must be lots of that algae and those crustaceans at MINWR.

This is a classic breeding male with the green head, the black ring, and the bright red eye.

And here from a slightly different angle. The black ring at the back of the head is often hidden when the bird roosts. I am sure I have seen it before but never captured it as clearly as in these images.

Canon SD4000IS behind the eyepiece of the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL spotting scope for the equivalent field of view of about a 2000mm lens. The bird was feeding actively and moved away some by the second shot. 1/640th @ ISO 125 and 1/800th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto. Approximately f5.5 effective aperture.

Processed for clarity and sharpness in Lightroom.

Over the next few days I will be featuring more Roseate Spoonbills from MINWR.