This photo was taken last February at the Richard T. Paul Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary, two islands that sit at the mouth of the Alafia River near Tampa Bay, Florida. The sanctuary does not normally allow visitors, but I was allowed to approach within several hundred yards of the islands as part of a photography workshop.
The spoonbills were on the wing and along the shore almost constantly throughout the morning and afternoon workshop sessions, accompanied by Long-billed Curlews, Reddish Egrets, and Brown Pelicans. Balancing the low light and the considerable distance from the birds was a challenge in making this photo. This lovely Roseate Spoonbill raised its wings as it prepared for the first downward wingbeat to lift off from the shore and fly away. In the photo, the spoonbill appears to be looking right at me as intensely as I was looking at it.
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