Two Roseate Spoonbills
48" x 65" unframed
55" x 72" framed
© SHELLEY HESSE 2020
This beautiful, large, and gregarious bird was nearly hunted to extinction in the last part of the 19th century. Its pink feathers were used in ladies' hats, and its wings were sold as fans. By 1939, about 30 birds remained in Florida. Interestingly, the spoonbill's pink plumage quickly fades once the feathers are no longer attached to a living bird. The good news is Roseate Spoonbills have made a comeback and currently have many champions monitoring and advocating for them, particularly the Gulf Restoration Network and Audubon of Florida. Now over a thousand pairs nest in Florida where they are stable along the Gulf Coast, yet still sinking in numbers in the broad estuary between the Everglades and the Keys.
“How can hope be denied when there is always the possibility of an American flamingo or a roseate spoonbill floating down from the sky like pink rose petals?”