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Barbara, I must disagree, no, spoonbills would absolutely not be more
beautiful with an ibis bill.  Overlook the bill?  That would be overlooking
one of their assets, I think...

The bill of a spoonbill is gorgeous in design and function.  Weihs and
Katzir (Animal Behavior 47:649-654, 1994) published a study where they
hypothesized that the bill of spoonbills serves as a hydrofoil during
foraging (first reported case for an avian bill).  It was really
interesting.

FYI the spoon on the roseate's bill begins to deveop when the birds are
about four weeks old (White et al. Auk 99:275-284, 1982).  I think it has a
gorgeous curvy appearance.

The roseate spoonbills forage in a beautiful way, sweeping this curved
wonder back and forth... just lovely.  Pink AND curvy-billed.  Just
gorgeous, those birds.

By the way you can get up close and personal with roseate spoonbills at
Busch Gardens, they eat out of your hand and you can feel how light and flat
these wonderous bills are.

Thanks to Ray for the great photos.

I know Annabelle McKie is laughing as she reads this message.

Y'all have to excuse me, I have a blind spot for spoonbills.

Elsa Alvear
Homestead, FL


From: Barbara Passmore <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Barbara Passmore <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [FLBIRDS] Fw: SMALL PHOTO:  Roseate Spoonbills by Ray Smart
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 22:49:22 -0400


These photos were taken by Ray Smart of Port St. Richey and are of the
spoonbills he has been posting about recently.  Photo  was taken about three
weeks ago (late June 2003), he says.

During last weekend, Ray wrote about seeing a large number of spoonbills at
this same location--  at the sand flats along Strauber Memorial Hwy.
Beautiful, aren't they? Just overlook that bill !  But would they be more
beautiful if they had an ibis bill?

I  will add these photos to the website when there is a "formal" photo for
the archives.  Of course, these photos are permanently in the archives and
if you wish to refer to them again, do a search for "Roseate Spoonbills" in
the search page provided on the archives' address shown below in the bottom
banner. Also, for nomailers and digesters who will not of course get a
photo.  The same goes if anyone wants to see the small photo of the Laughing
Gulls sent yesterday from Lee Snyder, and all future small photos.

Barbara Passmore
Listowner, FLORIDABIRDS
<< Spoonbills.jpg >>

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