2017—Tactile Feeding

Roseate spoonbills are tactile feeders.  They have sensors on their long, flattened bills that feel small fish and other food as they probe the water, waving their submerged bills back and forth.  When they find a fish, their bill snaps shut on the prey in a vice-like grip, then they lunge their head forward and open their bill slightly, moving the prey toward their throat.  The small fish about to be swallowed by this Spoonbill is visible about mid-bill as it is flipped backwards toward the gullet.

Corkscrew Swamp, Ft. Myers, FL, March 2017

Spoonbill gulp 2.jpg