How to find Sanibel's Roseate Spoonbill

  • Article by: Kerri Westenberg
  • Star Tribune
  • February 9, 2013 - 2:25 PM

“Very nice and entertaining article,” Nadav Cassuto wrote in an e-mail about last week’s top Travel story, the tale of a woman’s futile search for the stunning, pink-plumed Roseate Spoonbill in Florida. “But if you visit in migration times, you can even increase your chances to see the [bird],” Cassuto helpfully continued.

Cassuto, of St. Louis Park, should know. He took this intimate image of the bird that so obsessed Hertzel when she traveled to Sanibel, near Fort Myers, in late November and early December. Though you can see the bird in Florida year-round, it seems that she missed the peak viewing period by only a few weeks.

“October and November are great times,” Cassuto said of Sanibel, his favorite spot in Florida for capturing images of Spoonbills and other birds. At that time of year, especially in the early morning or late evening at the J. N. “Ding” Darling Nature Preserve, the odds of a sighting are with you. Cassuto said that he uses the Web to research the best times to travel to a location to shoot birds before he books a trip.

That research has paid off; Cassuto has many excellent photos of Spoonbills and other birds. (See more of his photos at As for obsessions, he understands those as well as he does the movement of Roseate Spoonbills.

“Photography is my hobby,” he replied when asked if he was a professional shooter, “or, as my wife calls it, my obsession.”

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