It has one of the most stunning bills among birds. The bill is incredibly long and extremely flat. The male´s bill is aproximately 23 cm long, the female´s, 19 cm. At the base it is as broad as the head, gets thinner towards the center and ends in a disk broader than the head. From this spoon-like bill derives the name of this bird. The tongue is very short, almost a fourth of the bill in length. The upper mandible tip is slightly decurved.
The mandibles have blunt borders with teeth-like structures in the proximal part. At the tip there are touch receptors which feel for prey and help detect it in cloudy waters.
The spoonbill feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, amphibians, slugs, insects, larvae, aquatic plants and seeds. A carotenoid-rich diet gives the spoonbill the pink color of the feathers.
A juvenile Roseate Spoonbill sweeping the water with the bill at the Coypu Pond.
Feeding at the Coypu Pond. Carlos Agulian told us he had seen five roseate spoonbills from the outer sidewalk. We could see only this one. The rest were behind the island. Some time later we saw the five individuals flying.