So, what’s all this talk about Spoonies?
I was fortunate enough this past weekend to travel to Tampa Florida and spend two days with James Shadle, photographing these unique birds. James is a fabulous photographer who owns a boat, the Hooptie Deux, and takes people like yours truly out into Tampa Bay to stand waist deep in the bay to photograph the Spoonbills as well as anything else that just might fly by. Back in the 1920’s, when Cargill was building a plant on the bay, the spoil from the construction was used to build a couple of small islands. They have been leased to the Audubon Society and are one of the largest nesting areas in Florida for the Roseate Spoonbills, the other being Florida Bay down in the Keys. The reason for standing in the bay itself is that no one is allowed to set foot on these islands as a protection of the nesting areas.
The spoonbills are large distinctive wading birds that are related to ibises. Here is a spoonbill along with a white ibis. As you can see, they are a bit larger but similarly shaped. Both have long bills for foraging, one narrow, almost pointed, the other flat and broad. And, of course, the coloring is just slightly different!
We had a great time and were able to get lots of images, including some species I had not photographed before. So stick around to see a little more variety over the next few days.
as always, click on the images to see them larger!