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The Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) (sometimes placed in its own genus Ajaja) is a gregarious wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family, Threskiornithidae. It is a resident breeder in South America mostly east of the Andes, and in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Gulf Coast of the United States and on Central Florida's Atlantic coast Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge adjoined with NASA Kennedy Space Center.
The Roseate Spoonbill is 71–86 cm (28–34 in) long, with a 120–133 cm (47–52 in) wingspan and a body mass of 1.2–1.8 kg (2.6–4.0 lb). The tarsus measures 9.7–12.4 cm (3.8–4.9 in), the culmen measures 14.5–18 cm (5.7–7.1 in) and the wing measures 32.3–37.5 cm (12.7–14.8 in) and thus the legs, bill, neck and spatulate bill all appear elongated. Adults have a bare greenish head ("golden buff" when breeding) and a white neck, back, and breast (with a tuft of pink feathers in the center when breeding), and are otherwise a deep pink. The bill is grey. There is no significant sexual dimorphism.
Like the American Flaningo, their pink color is diet-derived, consisting of the carotenoid pigment canthaxanthin. Another carotenoid, astaxanthin, can also be found deposited in flight and body feathers. The colors can range from pale pink to bright magenta, depending on age and location. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched. They alternate groups of stiff, shallow wingbeats with glides.
Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5293Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5297Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5292Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5300Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5368Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5377Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5382Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5384Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5398Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5409Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5506Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5507Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5508Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5511Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5514Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5756Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 5784Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 6562Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 6567Roseate Spoonbill, Platalea Ajaja, St Augustine Florida, Alligator Farm, 04-28-2014, 6568

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