Sunday, 25 April 2010

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

OTHER NAMES: Spoonbill, Common Spoonbill
Latin Etymology: Platalea ("spoonbill") macularius ("white heron")

Adult Eurasian Spoonbill (subspecies P. l. leucorodia) at Rutland Water, Rutland - April 2010

Featured Subspecies: Platalea leucorodia leucorodia
Weight: 1100-1960g  /  Length: 70-95cm  /  Wingspan: 115-135cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The spoonbill is a unique, almost unmistakable species once you see it's beak. It has in fact bred in the UK this year, but generally its is more a random if frequent visitor. The beak is of course the most obvious feature, but also look for it's unique feeding movement which involves sweeping its beak from side to side to filter out its food from the water.  It is one of the rarest of British breeding birds, although that's more of a factor of it being in the process of establishing here, rather than due to any rarity.  My finding of one was utterly by chance as it flew into a hide as I was walking down a path and a kind couple coming the other way let me know, though I subsequently saw an individual at Cliffe Pools though more distantly.

Related Species: 
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Threskiornithidae
Genus: Platalea
Subspecies: P. l. leucorodia, P. l. balsaci, P. l. archeri

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding species (0-4 pairs) and rare Wintering visitor (20 birds) and regular vagrant
 - Vagrant birds seen at Rutland WaterCliffe Pools and Summerleys
SPAIN - Scarce and Local Resident to Souther Spain
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: A single bird at Arrocampo.

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