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      The Nature Report: Spoonbill Nesting Season

      The roseate spoonbills have arrived on Green Island.

      Their brilliant pink plumage glistening in the morning light as they stretch their wings from lofty perches overlooking the Lower Laguna Madre. In the early spring, the great blue herons had Green Island pretty much all to themselves, but now it TMs a challenge just to find a place to land with all the pinkish newcomers. Just after dawn, a trio of spoonbills basks in the day TMs first light. Nearby, a reddish egret in white morph glows with the suns rays backlighting its elegant plumage. A black-crowned night heron perches in the rich light, enjoying the warmth of the rising sun. However, it is those gaudy spoonbills that garner your attention.

      They are in peak pink as breeding season swings into full tilt on Isla Verde. Another newcomer to the historic nesting island is the great egret.

      And as if its flowing ivory feathers were not beautiful enough, the great egret has added a touch of emerald green eyeshade to top things off. The reddish egrets are abundant, and flare their head and neck feathers outward whenever they become excited. The great blue herons are showing off their striking plumage as well, frequently stretching their long necks skyward in impressive displays for potential mates. Fortunately, for the safety of the nesting birds, boaters give the protected island a wide berth, and that will become increasingly important as these colonial waterbirds begin to lay their delicate eggs.