"Have you seen the flamingoes? Or whatever they are?," asked a young lady with her toddler as I was packing up my photo gear. We were on the boardwalk of the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia.
"They are called Roseate Spoonbills," I smiled with the assurance of one who has recently become knowledgeable. "And I have had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours in their company. They just flew down the river"
She asked "Do they live around here?"
"Normally, the coastal areas in Florida are about as far north as they venture." In fact, I travelled to Saint Augustine just two weeks ago to photograph them in a rookery at the Alligator Farm. Then I heard through the Georgia Nature Photographers Association Facebook group that six spoonbills had been spotted near the CNC. There were only three feeding together on this morning, May 30. Three spoonbills pose for a family photo. These birds are presumed to be siblings, perhaps a year old.
Mature roseate spoonbills tend to have a deeper red plumage. In flight the rosy underside of the wing can be seen in this immature one.
This spoonbill posed for me, seemingly unaware of the spider on its back.
How long they will hang around this area is anyone's guess. But we'll enjoy them while we can!
Update: Following the rains in early June, the water level rose making the conditions undesirable for these wading birds. They left for parts unknown.