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Did You See a Pink Bird?

If you see a pink bird, chances are good it was either a roseate spoonbill, flamingo, pink ibis, or scarlet ibis.

To distinguish the spoonbill from the flamingo in flight, the roseate spoonbill's wing is solid pink, whereas the trailing edge of a flamingo wing is black. While wading, the best way to distinguish the two is by their bill shapes. The roseate has a long, spoonlike bill while the flamingo has a sharply bent heavy bill.

The pink ibis and scarlet ibis are smaller birds with long, downcurved beaks. The pink ibis, introduced into Miami in the 1960s, is a hybrid between the native white ibis and scarlet ibis. Scarlet ibis are a very bright scarlet color and can be distinguished by their long, downcurved beaks. Both the scarlet and the pink ibis have the same structure, size, and black wing tips as the white ibis.

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