Today we have photos of a lovely bird by reader Paul Peed, whose words are indented:
These images are from late in the breeding season at the Roseate Spoonbill, Heron and Egret rookery. Located in T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area in Brevard and Indian River County, Florida. More images are available at Instagram and Ebird.
Feeding time for Roseate Spoonbills (Platalea ajaja) recently fledged. Two rather insistent juveniles, roughly 2 months old, and one patient adult.The most aggressive and insistent of the two juveniles:
This individual is probably a male. It’s interesting that “stick collecting” behavior begins so very early. Male Roseate Spoonbills present a potential female mating partner with a stick which the female takes in her bill and shakes to signify her consent. Other sources say the male does not present a stick until after they are paired for the season.
JAC: I guess the stick has to be selected carefully! Somebody should research the characteristic of “successful” versus “unsuccessful” sticks: species, length, girth, etc.
Adult joins juvenile:
. . . and they begin to aggressively snap their bills and poke at the adult’s bill
The juveniles continue to beg. Snapping, poking and flapping
Finally, it’s dinner time!