Platalea Regia

Description

The Royal Spoonbill, also known as the Black-billed 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.

Size

The Royal Spoonbill is approximately 80 cm tall, and has a weight of approximately 1.4–2.07 kg. It is a wading bird and has long legs for walking through water.

Food

The Royal Spoonbill will eat fish, shellfish, crabs and amphibians. They catch their prey by making a side-to-side movement with its bill.

Habitat

The Royal Spoonbill is found in shallow freshwater and saltwater wetlands, intertidal mud flats and wet grasslands. Both permanent and temporary inland waters are used when available in the arid zone. They will also use artificial wetlands such as sewage lagoons, saltfields, dams and reservoirs.

Distribution

Can be found throughout eastern and northern mainland Australia from the Kimberley region of Western Australia across the Top End and through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, to south-eastern South Australia.

Oakvale Distribution Maps png Royal Spoonbill

Breeding

When the Royal Spoonbill is 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. In Australia, whole colonies have been known to desert their eggs after a minor upset.