Eurasian spoonbill — Platalea leucorodia

Distinctive, large white wading bird with a spatula for a bill. Adult has short crest, yellowish breast patch. First year has paler bill, with fine black wingtips visible in flight. Sleeping birds have horizontal posture and bulging neck, vs. more vertical stance of egrets. Found in wetlands with shallow water (including tidal flats), where feeds by sweeping its bill side-to-side for crustaceans and small fish. May be confused with egrets when sleeping, but note stockier, more thickset overall appearance.

Photo: Look how gorgeous Eurasian spoonbill — Platalea leucorodia

Description Eurasian spoonbill — Platalea leucorodia

1800The Platalea leucorodia, commonly known as the Eurasian spoonbill, is a distinctive wading bird belonging to the family Threskiornithidae. This large, long-legged bird is easily characterized by its spoon-shaped bill, which it uses to forage for aquatic invertebrates in shallow waters. The Eurasian spoonbill is primarily found in wetland habitats across Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia, where it can be observed feeding and nesting alongside other waterfowl and wading birds.

The distribution of the Eurasian spoonbill is widespread, spanning a diverse range of regions within its range. In Europe, the species can be found in countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom, often inhabiting marshes, estuaries, and coastal lagoons. In Africa, the Eurasian spoonbill is known to occur in locations including Senegal, Egypt, and South Africa, where it frequents both freshwater and saltwater wetlands. Additionally, the bird extends its range into parts of Asia, with populations recorded in countries such as India, China, and Japan, where it can be found in similar wetland environments.

The Eurasian spoonbill’s adaptability to various wetland habitats has allowed it to thrive in both natural and human-altered landscapes. The bird’s distribution reflects its preference for shallow waters and ample food sources, making it well-suited to wetlands, mudflats, and coastal areas. Despite some localized threats and habitat loss, the Eurasian spoonbill has managed to sustain viable populations across its range, benefiting from protected areas and conservation efforts aimed at safeguarding its wetland habitats.

Overall, the distribution of the Eurasian spoonbill encompasses a broad geographic range, encompassing Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Its presence in diverse wetland ecosystems underscores the bird’s ecological significance and its ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions. By maintaining suitable habitat and conservation measures, ongoing efforts can continue to support the Eurasian spoonbill’s distribution and ensure the persistence of this striking wading bird in its natural range.

Listen to them sing Eurasian spoonbill — Platalea leucorodia

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