"We fly or travel in flocks, often with the ibises, forming V-
shaped lines like the blue geese. Each one of us flies behind and just to
one side of the bird in front. As we circle and circle, our plumage stands
out deep pink against the blue sky and fleecy white clouds." (2: p.142)
"Imagine," thought Peggy Ann, "being able to fly over the
Everglades and Florida Keys with the spoonbills!
"Tell me more, Mr. Spoonbill," she said aloud.
"We fly with an easy flapping movement. When you look for me
in the sky you can always tell me by my pink color and out-stretched head
and legs. (3: p.103) Either flying or resting among the dark-green foliage
of the Everglades, our wings reflect the sunlight and it is not hard to think
of us as pink pearls and rubies in a box of green velvet." (12: p.110)
"My, that sounds beautiful. I'd like to have one of you for my
very own," said Peggy Ann.
"Well," replied the spoonbill sadly, "these lovely feathers have
brought great sorrow to my family. My great-great-grandmother left a
family record stating that a few hundred years ago there were thousands
and thousands of spoonbills in Florida. Hunters used to call us the pink
curlew, and we were shot down in great numbers for our feathers. These
were sent to Jacksonville where