Beautiful Pink Roseate Spoonbills (玫瑰紅琵鷺)
and Other Wildlife in Myakka River State Park in
Florida
****************************************
In case if you see overlapped lines of text or some lines of text become obscured behind a picture on this web
page, please change the page magnification (zoom) factor to eliminate such problems by pressing these two
keys "Ctrl +" simultaneously or these two keys "Ctrl -" simultaneously. Depending on your PC setting, it may
be necessary to reduce the magnification factor several steps down in order to eliminate the overlap and
obstructed text lines.

Please press the F11 key (Fn key and F11 key on laptop PC) on your keyboard to get full-screen view of
photos and web page. Pressing F11 key again will return to your normal screen with various tool bars.
****************************************
About Author                                 Contact Author
讀萬卷書    行萬里路

Home                                                              About Author                                               Contact Author
Our main goal for coming to Myakka River State Park near west coast in Florida is to look for the beautiful pink
colored Roseate Spoonbill (
玫瑰紅琵鷺). While in this park, an experienced birder/visitor told us that she saw
some roseate spoonbills while hiking on the Nature Trail in the park. But those birds were at a substantial
distance away. So, we drove on the main park drive and looked for this Nature Trail, parked our car at the
small parking lot near this Sign for Nature Trail, then hiked the Nature Trail into the woods.

Myakka River State Park is located at 13208 (State Road) 72, Sarasota, Florida 34241

Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Myakka River State Park

Map: Click here for detailed Park Map of Myakka River State Park

This detailed park map shows the location of the Nature Trail.
After a short walk on the Nature Trail in the woods, we reached this boardwalk with a bench over the open
swamp marsh area.
From this boardwalk looking east, we saw some birds so far away in the middle of the swamp that each bird
appeared as a tiny white dot.
迷人的玫瑰紅琵鷺,是珍貴的嬌客, 腳很長,可以涉足到水中, 將喙埋入水中左右搖
擺覓食。

Fortunately, my compact super-zoom camera (Canon PowerShot SX50 HS) has 50X optical zoom that
enables me to zoom in to get some better pictures of the beautiful roseate spoonbill instead of just the tiny
dots.
Immature roseate spoonbills are paler in color.
Roseate spoonbill is named for its pink feather and spoon shaped bill. The eyes and legs are red.
Some roseate spoonbills were flying in the air far away showing their beautiful pink color.
Roseate spoonbills are frequently seen in the company of other water and wading birds including ibises,
storks, cormorants, herons and egrets.
The roseate spoonbill spends a lot of its time in muddy shallow water feeding. It feeds on crustaceans,
aquatic insects, frogs, newts and very small fish ignored by larger waders. It sweeps its open bill from side to
side in the muddy water to sift up food like small fish, shrimp, mollusks, snails and insects. It has touch
receptors in its bill that help it feel its prey. The side-to-side sweeping of open bill creates mini-whirlpools that
pull up small prey from the muddy bottom. Sensitive touch receptors along the bill’s length detect vibrations
and signal the bill to close quickly on prey swept inside the spoon. They hunt for food by touch instead of
sight, a crucial adaptation for a bird that feeds in muddy or vegetation-clogged water.

I took two movie clips of the special feeding behavior of roseate spoonbill as shown at the following two
YouTube website:

http://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BtaULEeyjs&feature=youtu.be

and

http://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BtaULEeyjs

I took these two movie clips with very long zoom such that it is very sensitive to any tiny shakes or
movements of the camera.

We also saw many beautiful roseate spoonbills in our 2015 January birding tour of Texas Gulf Coast as
shown on my web page at:

http://
shltrip.com/Many_Beautiful_Roseate_Spoonbills.html
This great blue heron caught a big fish near the Boat Basin in the Park.

In addition to those roseate spoonbills in that swamp area, we also toured other areas in Myakka River State
Park to watch other wildlife in action.
It seemed that this fish was too big for the great blue heron to swallow. I watched this great blue heron
fooled around with this fish for more than 10 minutes, but could not swallow it. We, then, left the Boat Basin
and moved on to watch other wildlife actions in this park.
There is a large lake (Upper Myakka Lake) in this park. I used my compact super-zoom camera to zoom and
to scan the far side of the big lake and I was surprised to see some wild pigs on the far side of the big lake in
addition to some cormorants in the middle of the lake.
An osprey (fish hawk) was hovering over the big lake looking for fish to catch.
Normally, osprey flies or hovers over the water or perches on a tall tree near the water to look for fish to catch.
It is surprising for me to see this osprey standing in shallow water, almost like a wading bird.
There are some big alligators in this park too.
A hawk
Some shore birds flying over the big lake.
One of several wood storks in the air.
May be a Limpkin
Reddish Egret
A male anhinga
While hiking on the Nature Trail in the wood, we saw several wild turkeys and deer
Many vultures were circling high on the sky.
Many ibises busily feeding.
We were very happy to see many beautiful pink colored roseate spoonbills in action in Myakka River State
Park. A variety of other wildlife in this park is also very interesting.

Note on locations to watch roseate spoonbill: The Nature Trail is not the only place to see roseate
spoonbill in Myakka River State Park. We saw some other roseate spoonbills in another swamp next to the
one shown on this web page. But that second swamp area is more difficult to get clear view of those birds
from the main park drive. Other visitors indicated that in other years, they have seen roseate spoonbills on the
Myakka River near the bridge of the main park drive.

Ten years ago, we saw some roseate spoonbills in J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge located at 1
Wildlife Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957 as shown on my web page at:

http://
www.shltrip.com/Southern_Florida.html

Our friends have also seen many roseate spoonbills along the Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island
National Wildlife Refuge off A Max Brewer Memorial Parkway (SR406) on Merritt Island, Florida.

There are many interesting places in Florida to see various kinds of birds and wildlife. Parts 1 to 8 of our 2014
Florida Winter Wildlife Watching Trip are at:

Part 1 on
Big Swarm of Sea Birds Surrounding Fishing Boats near St. Johns River Ferry in Florida

Part 2 on Hundreds of Alligators and Many Birds in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National
Preserve in Florida

Part 3 on Beautiful Pink Roseate Spoonbills and Other Wildlife in Myakka River State Park in Florida

Part 4 on Hundreds of Manatees in Beautiful Blue Spring in Florida

Part 5 on Many Birds in Merritt Island, Viera Wetlands and Lake Okeechobee in Florida

Part 6 on Majestic Whooping Cranes and Many Birds in Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Florida

Part 7 on Sand Hill Cranes and Other Wildlife in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and St. Marks NWR in
Florida

Part 8 on Blue Angels Air Show and Wildlife at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida

Our tour of southern Florida 10 years ago in February 2004 is at:

http://www.shltrip.com/Southern_Florida.html

We also saw more than 30 beautiful roseate spoonbills in our 2015 January tour in Texas Gulf Coast as shown
on my web page at:

http://
www.shltrip.com/Many_Beautiful_Roseate_Spoonbills.html
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on my
web page at:

http://
www.shltrip.com/Sightseeing_in_Information_Age.html