One of the exciting birds I saw on a boat trip out of Rockport, TX, in the Aransas area, the Roseate Spoonbill is one of the birds that seems almost too fantastic. A flight overhead was a high point of that day.
Unlike most birds, roseate spoonbills are silent and often solitary when they feed. They swish their spoon-shaped bills back and forth in the water to find small invertebrates, fish and crustaceans. During breeding season, the male uses gifts of nesting material to attract the female. Once mated, the pair remains monogamous. Both male and female take turns sitting on the eggs and feeding the young.
Spoonbills eat shrimp, shrimp eat algae, and the algae make their own red and yellow pigments, called carotenoids. Some scientists believe that the pink coloration that roseate spoonbills acquire as they mature is due to their diet of carotenoid-rich organisms like shrimp. The more they eat, the pinker they get.