Roseate spoonbill makes debut in Minnesota

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of bird-watchers recently flocked to a Twin Cities dock for a look at a roseate spoonbill making its verifiable debut in Minnesota.

The roseate spoonbill was spotted in Bloomington on Sunday near the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge over the Minnesota River according to a press release. The bird flew off to the northeast at about 8 p.m. Sunday and additional sightings haven’t yet been logged.

“You just don’t see something in the Twin Cities metro that looks like it was designed by Dr. Seuss,” said birder Sharon Stiteler, who’s been chasing birds for roughly 35 years.

Birder Jim Williams said he and his fellow bird-watchers are almost certain this specific roseate spoonbill was also spotted and verified earlier this month in Illinois, about 60 miles east of the Mississippi River near St. Louis, and in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“The chances of there being three of them this far (from the Gulf Coast) is pretty small.” he said. “My guess is we are seeing the same one.”

The pinkish and rose-colored bird with a wide and flat bill is native to the Gulf Coast along the shores of Texas, Louisiana and Florida and prefers Central and South America during the winter.

“These birds are coastal swamp birds,” Williams said. “If it stayed for the winter, it wouldn’t survive. It needs open water and sweeps its bill and collects what it eats.”