It seemed like a regular day when Everglades Science Center field technicians Emily Johnson and Peter Aronson hit the water to conduct nest monitoring. Their team ventures out into Florida Bay every day to check Roseate Spoonbill nests on several islands, but this time they actually rescued a spoonbill. The nestling, estimated to be 17-19 days old, seemed to have fallen out of its nest on an island in the northeastern part of the Bay.
In an effort to better understand how Roseate Spoonbill populations are faring across the system, Audubon biologists count the nests, the number of eggs, and monitor chick progress each nesting season. But when they saw the pink figure floundering in the mangroves, they jumped into action.
Wrapping the bird in a jacket to keep it calm and warm, Emily and Peter made their way back to land and took it to the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Key Largo. They later learned that the bird had suffered from a fractured right radius, a hole in its right wing, and a large, older wound on its right side. The bird also faced extreme dehydration – without immediate care, it would not have survived.
Luckily, the bird is doing much better as it begins to heal. We are looking forward to learning more about its prognosis in the coming weeks.