they were made into fans and sold to tourists. And so now, there are
only about a hundred of us left in South Florida. But today, we are
protected by law and hope to have a chance to again grow many
families." (4: p.111) (2: p.142)
"I surely hope you will," said Peggy Ann." It is very sad to think
that there are so few of you left."
"Do not be sad," said the spoonbill. "I am sure you would like to
come with me to one of our nesting homes on tiny Bottle Key which is
one of the Florida Keys. (12: p.110) It is a dense mangrove ticket where
the branches of the trees are so interlaced that it looks like a giant bird
cage. But the door is always open to the sky."
"Oh, that must be very lovely!" Peggy Ann explained. (sic)
"Yes, it really is, but it's not very quiet. We nest in colonies, and,
although most people call us silent birds, we enjoy a low croaking gossip
while building our nests. You see there are so many other wading birds
to talk about because we like to live near the herons, ibises and egrets."
"But," said Peggy Ann, "don't you have to have a mate before
building a nest?"
"Yes indeed, would you like to hear my story?"