Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
nature photography

Eurasian Spoonbill Picture

bird photography


The Eurasian Spoonbill or Common Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) is a wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae, breeding in southern Eurasia from Spain to Japan, and also in North Africa. Most birds migrate to the tropics in winter, with European breeders mainly going to Africa, but a few remaining in mild winter areas of western Europe north to the United Kingdom.

At Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.

This species is almost unmistakable in most of its range. The breeding bird is all white except for its dark legs, black bill with a yellow tip, and a yellow breast patch like a pelican. It has a crest in the breeding season. Non-breeders lack the crest and breast patch, and immature birds have a pale bill and black tips to the primary flight feathers. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched.

The Eurasian Spoonbill differs from the African Spoonbill with which in overlaps in winter, in that the latter species has a red face and legs, and no crest.

There are three subspecies:

  • P. l. leucorodia, the nominate race, occupies all the range except as below.
  • P. l. balsaci. Islands off the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania.
  • P. l. archeri. The coasts of the Red Sea and Somalia.

Birds in Asia are sometimes separated as P. l. major

Habitat and behaviour

The Eurasian Spoonbill occurs in marshy wetlands with some open shallow water, nesting in colonies in trees or reedbeds. It does not usually share colonies with storks or herons.

The Eurasian Spoonbill usually lays four eggs. It feeds on various fish, frogs and other water creatures.

The Eurasian Spoonbill is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

References and external links
  • BirdLife International (2004). Platalea leucorodia. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World 1: 504-505. Lynx Edicions.
  • Common Spoonbill videos on the Internet Bird Collection


Feeding at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.

At Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.

at Sultanpur National Park in Gurgaon District of Haryana, India.

At Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Platalea leucorodia


nature photography
All images and video © Copyright 2006-2016 Christopher Taylor, Content and maps by their respective owner. All rights reserved.
nature photography

Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites