Roseate spoonbills (Platalea ajaja
) are wading birds native to the Gulf Coast and a frequent visitor to Johnson Space Center. These birds are easily recognizable with their unique beaks and stunning plumage. They use these beaks to feel for small prey along the shallow muddy bottoms of area waterways. Pigment from that prey gives their feathers their unique pink color in a process similar to that in the unrelated American flamingo. Look for these birds perched along ditches and marshes, wading through shallow water or flying overhead.
If you want to make a difference in the habitat of these wading birds, register
by March 18 to clean up their habitat with JSC champs and other local volunteers in and around the waterways of the Armand Bayou. Check out this month’s Sustainability newsletter
for more events and opportunities.
Roseate spoonbills make themselves at home at JSC. Image Credit: NASA/Lauren Harnett