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Birdorable "Hardly any wetland bird is more easily identified than the Roseate Spoonbill"

This article contains information relating to a former cryptid. Former cryptids are either cryptids proven to exist, or those that are no longer considered cryptids.

Northern Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
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Background
Type Bird
First Sighting 2012 (unconfirmed), 2017 (confirmed)
Last Sighting 2024
Country USA and Canada
Habitat Marshes
Possible Population 900,000 but in places like the southern USA

The Northern Spoonbill is a confirmed cryptid which is found in northern states of the United States, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan and most recently New York. Reported sightings had occurred throughout the 2010s, which is when it was declared a cryptid. However, these claims were proven correct, as a photo was taken, confirming the spoonbills' existence. It is uncertain how spoonbills came to be in the northern states, as they are only found in warm southern coastal states, a very different environment to Michigan, Minnesota, upstate New York and central Pennsylvania.

In the most recent confirmed sighting in New York, a mating pair of spoonbills were spotted at Montezuma National Park, upstate New York, in 2021.[1] This is the only confirmed pair to have been brought up by a hurricane. It is unknown what happened to the pair, it is speculated that they have died, however no remains have been found of either of them. It is unlikely that the spoonbills could have flown back south, meaning they seemingly vanished from the area. Attempts were made to rescue the spoonbills that were found, however nobody could get close to these timid birds. There have been no confirmed sightings since, however there have been multiple unconfirmed sightings of pink birds found in northern marshes.

In the summer of 2023, the most recent confirmed sighting was in Michigan, a large pink wading bird was seen standing on one long reddish leg.

One theory is global warming, which had seen other southern birds, such as White Pelicans and Common Gallinules, seen in the north, however this is more common as they are found further north than the spoonbill.

Sightings + History[]

  • A possible sighting, a spoonbill was seen in Michigan, 2012.
  • A "Large pink bird" was seen flying above a village in Minnesota, near a rookery.
  • The first documented sighting was in Michigan, where at least 10 spoonbills were spotted off of a rock in Lake Michigan in 2016.
  • A spoonbill was photographed in Pennsylvania in 2017.[2]
  • The first documented sighting in Minnesota occurred in 2018, and a photo was captured.[3]
  • The first photographed sighting in New York was in 2019.
  • The second documented sighting in New York was in the summer of 2021, and this is the most heavily documented case, as it was seen in a Nature Reserve.
  • The first sighting in Ontario, Canada, was recorded in the spring of 2023.[4]
  • There was a sighting in 2023, in Michigan.[5]
  • The first sighting in California was recorded in 2024.[6]
Birdorable

A Birdorable illustration of the roseate spoonbill

Description[]

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the roseate spoonbill has bright pink feathers, a red eye staring out from a partly bald head, and a giant spoon-shaped bill. Groups sweep their spoon-shaped bills through shallow fresh or salt water snapping up crustaceans and fish.

“They fly with necks outstretched, to and from foraging and nesting areas along the coastal southeastern U.S., and south to South America. These social birds nest and roost in trees and shrubs with other large wading birds.”

What makes it unusual[]

The presence of the roseate spoonbill in northern states like New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan stands out as highly unusual due to its strong affinity for warm, tropical environments and coastal habitats, starkly different from the colder climates and inland ecosystems of these regions. This enigmatic bird's appearance challenges conventional expectations, as its migratory routes typically confine it to southern coastal areas during winter months. Thus, sightings of the roseate spoonbill in northern states provoke intrigue and curiosity, sparking debates within the ornithological and cryptid communities alike.

Gallery[]

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