Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spoonbill surprise

I could not believe my eyes. Could not. I was at Lafreniere Park in Metairie, walking on the board walk crossing the small lake when two pink-looking birds caught my eye. I squinted to see the shape of their bills. Sure enough. There were Roseate Spoonbills. Also See this compilation of photos.

I hadn't see any of them around here and thought they were pretty much confined to Texas or certainly closer to the coast. It is because of the chemicals they get from eating crustaceans that they get the rosy and sometimes orangish color.

I quickly set up my tripod and started shooting. See that branch hanging down and hiding part of the top one's bill? Most of the time it was hiding all of his bill. I finally got this shot that lets you see why they are called Spoonbills. The light shade of pink feathers and the pink on the bills suggest that these are juvenile birds. So mom and dad must be somewhere around.

They sat very still and allowed me to shoot my photos, although at a range that was just barely in my camera's range. At one point they even stood on one leg and both put their heads and necks back over their bodies for a rest.

--steve buser

13 comments:

Jon said...

Great shot of these magnificent birds! I didn't know they were found in Louisiana but nice to see them there for sure.

Jon on 8-19-08 at Mississippi Garden

Halcyon said...

Impressive! I am glad you caught these beauties and shared them with us. They really are special.

Pompo said...

wow! That's unreal! They do have Spoonbills in Louisiana check these few shots I got at the Lake Martin rookery in Breaux Bridge by Lafayette:

http://www.nolapic.com/p974281904/?photo=123612900

Blognote said...

Another magnificent photo, Steve!!
It looks nearly unreal!

Chris said...

What a wonderful shot! I've never seen pink spoonbills before. . .only white. . .and only in captivity..

JM said...

I love pink spoonbills! Didn't know you have them there... lucky you! :-)

Tommy V said...

Wonderful pictures. I have never seen a bird like this. Love their color.

Boise Diva said...

I didn't even know those birds came to the U.S. Great find!

Roadrider said...

We saw a bunch of them last October while riding out along Chef Highway. They were mixed in with some Ibis in a shallow marshy area.

jill said...

What a wonderful surprise. I can understand your elation at seeing these beautiful birds.

Laurie said...

Oh what a lucky surprise! Beautiful shot as always, Steve. These beauties are something special aren't they?

Keropok Man said...

Oh. They look lovely.

I really like the spoon shape beak. I have never seen one before.

angela said...

Oh they are simply beautiful, that colour, those beaks..and so patient waiting for you to take their photo.