|Roseate spoonbill - Platalea ajaja|
Is that a Flamingo you are taking pictures of? That is a question I hear on a regular basis every time I visit the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. What makes Ding Darling NWR such a great place is that it is a drive through wildlife park, and this allows many people to drive up and be very close to the many species of birds that are found in the refuge. With Sanibel Island being a prime vacation spot, you have quite a few visitors to the refuge that might otherwise not be inclined to visit a wildlife refuge. With a polite smile and a suppressed laugh I say "No, those are Roseate Spoonbills". While many species of the birds have grown accustom to the human presence, Spoonbills are much more leery and tend to stay farther away. So I and many other photographers need to use some pretty big lenses on our cameras to bring them in close. This attracts attention and brings out the questions when they see the pink plumage. So for someone that is not familiar with birds, they assume the birds are Flamingos.
|Spoonbill at Ding Darling NWR|
|Captive Caribbean Flamingos in a preserve|