Recently we featured photos of the Royal Spoonbill on the blog. Here is some additional information about this fascinating bird.

The Royal Spoonbill is a large waterbird with a very distinctively shaped bill. It has a long black bill with a wide flat ‘spoon’ at the end. The black of the bill extends onto the face to behind the eye. It can be found in the shallows of Centennial Parklands’ ponds throughout the year.

While the bird is white with long black legs, it has rich yellow marks over the eyes and a red spot on the forehead. In flight, they hold their neck and bill extended and in small parties they form ‘V’ formations.

 

Royal Spoonbill up close - image by Juan Rojas

Royal Spoonbill up close – image by Juan Rojas

 

When feeding, the bird wades through water and sweeps its bill from side to side through the water. It holds its bill slightly open and is very sensitive to touch – any small creature that touches the bill triggers the bill to snap shut!

They typically eat small fish, crustaceans and insects.

Breeding usually takes place from October to March. The Royal Spoonbill builds a large shallow dished stick nest lined with leaves and plants. The nest is placed in the tops of trees in or near water and usually in loose colonies, often with other water birds. They lay 2–3 speckled white eggs which are incubated for about 25 days.

 

Royal Spoonbill - image by Juan Rojas

Royal Spoonbill – image by Juan Rojas

 

Thanks to Trevor Waller who wrote this post. Trevor is a bird enthusiast and long-time visitor of the Parklands.

 

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