Audubon Priority Bird: Roseate Spoonbill

Photograph by Bob Croslin

Audubon Priority Bird: Roseate Spoonbill

The unmistakable "flame bird" is one of North America's most unusual looking waders.

By the Audubon Editors
Published: May-June 2013

Audubon priority species are in significant need of conservation efforts, and those efforts will lead to measurably improved status over time.

Range: In the United States spoonbills can be found in many areas around the Gulf of Mexico. They breed in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Florida populations occur in the state's southern half.

Habitat: Prefers marshes, wetlands, and mangrove keys along the coast; ponds, marshes, and forested swamps inland. Nests mostly on islands or in trees and shrubs surrounded by water.

Status: Species of Special Concern in Florida and Louisiana. Current U.S. population is about 5,500 pairs, considerably lower than in the pre-plume-hunting era.

Threats/Outlook: Greatest current threat is the loss of habitat due to wetland draining, development, and coastal marsh pollution.

How You Can Help: Join Audubon Florida's online advocacy campaign at restorefloridabay.org, where you will find tips on boating responsibly, creating backyard wildlife habitat, and reporting a sighting of a banded spoonbill.

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