The Dream of the Roseate Spoonbill, St Lucie River/IRL–Blog Break

Roseate Spoonbill image, public.
Roseate Spoonbill image, public. (
Close up of a roseate spoonbill, public photo.
Close up of a wet and happy roseate spoonbill, public photo.

I imagine if there is a dream of the roseate spoonbill, it would be for more water to be on the land…The recent heavy rains and local flooding have been a smorgasbord and reminder of better days for our local shore bird communities.

Last week, while driving by the county jail on Willoughby Boulevard , I witnessed a variety of shore birds in the flooded grasses behind the barbed-wire fence: great egrets, white egrets, blue herons, little blue herons, wood storks, a menagerie of ducks, and four beautiful pink roseate spoonbills!  I got out of my car and peered through the fence….Amazing I thought…”was this area too once wetlands?”

In Sewall’s Point, a group of as many a ten were reported foraging  both along North and South Sewall’s Point Roads. What a sight! People stopping in their cars to see…taking pictures and posting on Facebook.

In the past few years, it has been reported by Martin County and Audubon that the spoonbills are nesting on Bird Island just off the Archipelago in Sewall’s Point. This was never reported before. Nancy Beaver of Sunshine Wildlife Tours documents their progress…

Roseate spoonbills along N Sewall's Point Road, photo Dr Dave Carson, 2013.
Roseate spoonbills along N Sewall’s Point Road, photo courtesy of  Dr Dave Carson, 2015.
Roseate spoonbill photo from my Greg Braun/Bird Island file, 2013.
Roseate spoonbill photo from my Greg Braun/Bird Island file, 2012.

We humans complain when there is flooding; the shore birds love it, as this was their habitat before we drained the lands for agriculture and development. “Couldn’t there be a way to have both?”

This I think would be the dream of the roseate spoonbill…

I will be taking a blog break as this week I will be traveling to Silver Springs with University of Florida’s Natural Resources Leadership Institute, (
Florida springs, like Florida’s estuaries —–such as the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, are in big trouble. Agriculture and development’s impacts have impaired the springs that were once the symbol of our state tourism industry. Read this 2013 NPR story for more details: (

Have a good week, and when you are driving be sure to look up and see the dream of the roseate spoonbill–it is really the dream of all.


7 thoughts on “The Dream of the Roseate Spoonbill, St Lucie River/IRL–Blog Break

  1. One thing I have noticed with all your airial photos is everything is DEAD. There are no birds or schools of fish. Not so here. Hopefully people there are figuring it out and putting calcium beach sand in the water and bringing everything back to LIFE includeing the spoonbill

  2. What is happening to silver springs is NOT caused by algriculture it is these retention ponds that are funneling runoff from roads directly into the groundwater. The history of these retention ponds is Florida is flat and people dug holes to use the dirt to build on so they would not flood out in the rainy season. Now unburnt gasoline—pesticides—herbicides and much more go directly into the aquifer instead of filtered through the sand. Silver Springs is just one more example. If you waunt to fix Silver Springs fill in all the retention ponds in the town of Ocala and then install dirt legs in all their storm drais. Put calcium coral or sand in the dirtlegs so the H2O2 will oxidize all the chemicals. This should also clean up peoples drinking water so everyone is no longer dieing of cancer

  3. There is a pattern of behavour by this state that runs deep. Doing something rotten for money and then blameing other people and beating them up with laws has been going on for a very very long time. I am sure the state sells the dirt for these retention ponds to building contractors and then blames the farmers for the problems they cause . In the workplace US citizens can not compete with a flood of state backed illeagle immigrants when they are beaten down with laws and illeagles can simply leave. The only ones who are retireing are those who can come here —make their money –and go back to their country where one dollar has the value of ten US dollars.I could go on for a long time on this pattern of behavour—all they way back to the gill net days.

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