Nesting Roseate Spoonbill

Nesting Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill has always been a favourite of mine and every trip to Florida we try to get a few shots of them. This year provided an interesting opportunity to photograph a Spoonbill with an iPhone. So please excuse the blown highlights in this image, but exposure control on the iPhone is not as user friendly as it should be 🙂

The Roseate Spoonbill is a bird who’s beak is ideally designed to allow it to eat effectively. The Spoonbill eats by waving the broad spoon shaped end of its beak in shallow water, disturbing the water and silt beneath it. It has very sensitive nerve cells that cause the beak to reflexly snap shut when prey is detected. The vibrant pink colours the Spoonbill takes on as it matures (they are born white) is a result of carotenoid pigments in algae which are consumed by crustaceans and then in turn eaten by the spoonbills. The Spoonbill’s nostrils are located at the base of their beaks so they are able to breath while the spoon end of the bill is submerged while foraging.

The following image was shot with the iPhone 4S and processed with the Snapseed app designed by NIK Software.



  1. Thanks Arni, you are going to have to sign up for my ‘Birding with an iPhone’ workshop. Maybe I don’t ‘need’ a 1Dx after all 🙂

  2. Nice job on this image Scott! My best spoonbill images are from 500 yards. I find it hard to believe that you would go anywhere without your gear;).

  3. Rob Smith

    Nice one Scott. How close were you to this one? Not bad for an Iphone!

    • Thanks Rob, it was taken from a little less than six feet. The nest was adjacent to a walk way and I didn’t have any gear with me so the camera phone had to do the job.