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Eurasian Spoonbill - BirdForum Opus

Breeding plumage
Photo © by John George Richardson
Eastbridge, Suffolk, 22 March 2013
Platalea leucorodia


Breeding adult

  • White plumage
  • Crest
  • Yellow breast patch
  • Dark legs
  • Black, yellow tipped, bill


Non-breeding plumage
Photo © by Julio Caldas
Quinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal, 1 March 2006
  • No crest and no breast patch


  • Black tipped primary flight feathers
  • Pale bill


Southern Eurasia, (Spain to Japan), and North Africa. Vagrant to the Caribbean (Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados), and to Greenland[2].



1st Winter
Photo © by Qingcol
Amble, Cornwall, 21 October 2009

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • P. l. leucorodia:
  • P. l. balsaci:
  • P. l. archeri:


Wetlands and marshes.



It nests in colonies in trees or reedbeds. The clutch consists of 4 eggs.


Photo © by rsriram9
Thol, Gujarat, India, 4 March 2013

The diet includes fish and frogs.


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  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. 51st supplement to the AOU checklist of North American birds
  3. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, March 7). Eurasian spoonbill. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:53, May 8, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eurasian_spoonbill&oldid=886654087
  4. Brazil, M. (2018) Birds of Japan, Helm. ISBN 978-1-4729-1386-9
  5. Harrison, C.J.O. 1965. Allopreening as agonistic behaviour. Behaviour 24: 161-209.
  6. Matheu, E., del Hoyo, J., Christie, D.A., Garcia, E.F.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52779 on 29 April 2019).

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