The Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia), also known as the Black-billed Spoonbill, occurs in intertidal flats and shallows of fresh and saltwater wetlands in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. It has also been recorded as a vagrant in New Caledonia. The Royal Spoonbill is an Australian Bird that lives in wetlands and feeds on crutaceans, fish and small insects. The Royal Spoonbill feeds by sweeping its bill from side to side. It always flies with its head extended. Widespread throughout its large range, the Royal Spoonbill is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The Royal Spoonbill is a large white bird with a black, spoon-shaped bill. It is a wading bird and has long legs for walking through water. It eats fish and other water animals, such as shellfish, crabs and frogs, catching its prey by making a side-to-side movement with its bill.
When they are breeding, long white plumes grow from the back of their heads and coloured patches appear on the face. The nest is an open platform of sticks in a tree in which the female lays two or three eggs. The chicks hatch after 21 days. The birds are highly sensitive to disturbance in the breeding season. In Australia, whole colonies have been known to desert their eggs after a minor upset.
A group of Royal Spoonbills at Fogg Dam in the Northern Territory of Australia.