2 bird species discovered nesting in Arkansas wetland for first time

2 bird species discovered nesting in Arkansas wetland for first time
Roseate spoonbills and white-faced ibis were documented nesting in Arkansas recently for the first time, wildlife officials said. (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission/Arkansas Game and Fish Commission)

CROSSETT, Ark. — Roseate spoonbills and white-faced ibis were documented nesting in Arkansas recently for the first time, wildlife officials said.

“To have something like this happen is rare, but after seeing the location where the birds were found I’m just in awe of the multitudes and variety of birds using this area as a nesting ground,” Karen Rowe, with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said in a release

Rowe ventured to the property with Jami Linder, an emergency room nurse and avid nature photographer. Linder was asked to photograph the birds by family and friends who help control the beaver population on the land. 

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“I’m an emergency room nurse, and we have been told to self-quarantine when we are not at work, so I’ve had a lot of time to get out and explore,” Linder said. “I’ve spent days out there since then taking pictures of all the wonderful birds that come to roost there. It’s a genuine rookery.”

Rowe was amazed. 

“I’ve been at (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) for 37 years, and people can be pretty prone to exaggeration,” Rowe said. “But I don’t think there are words that will explain the sight we witnessed last night. There were at least 11 different species of wading birds filling the sky. They were coming in to roost so tightly that you had herons, egrets, ibis and anhingas all roosting right next to and almost on top of each other. ‘Awe-inspiring’ doesn’t even begin to do it justice.”