Roseate spoonbills typically inhabit Texas, Florida, Central America and South America. The individual pictured here is not the one seen in Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Animals USA15. September 2023

A Happy Surprise: Rare Water Bird Flies Further North Than Expected!

A roseate spoonbill was seen in Wisconsin, the United States, for the first time in 178 years as the tropical bird expands its territory further north, much to the delight of bird enthusiasts in the Badger State.

It was the first time since 1845 that a roseate spoonbill was spotted – alive, this time around – in Wisconsin, but not in northern states. “Higher numbers increase the odds that some will travel farther than usual and increase the chance that birders will find a few of them,” explains birder, author and conservationist Kenn Kaufman.

The leggy bird with distinctive pink plumage and a wide, flat beak usually hangs out along the Gulf of Mexico – in southeast Florida and southwest Texas for example – in Central America and South America. Still, for a few years now, the roseate spoonbill can be seen in northern states, as far as New England and the Great Lakes, and Wisconsin can now be added to the tropical bird’s northernmost destinations.

Smithsonian Magazine

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