It is hard to miss this unique and exceptional feature in a Spoonbill. The bill is wide and flattened at the tip which enables it to dabble in mud or water like a duck. And the crest and the breast patch that you see in this image occurs only in breeding season. Read on..
This (Eurasian spoonbill) is the most widespread species of spoonbill across Europe and India and is also commonly referred to as the common spoonbill.
Speciality of spoonbill doesn’t stop with this, unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched. In fact for we birders, this is an easy giveaway to identify whether the one in flight is a heron or a spoonbill.
I got the opportunity to make this image at Ranganthittu bird sanctuary. Pleasant day with mildly harsh sunlight, not too damaging for the camera to capture the mood of the moment. This beauty was one of the four in this flock, unlike many other birds both sexes of Spoonbills are pretty similar, however males are slightly larger and hence in comparison I guess this is a male.
While this bird is considerably mid-sized and beyond – (Length: 70-95 cm, Wingspan: 115-135 cm and weighing just below 2kgs), their call sounds like a much smaller bird. Click the play button below to listen to a recording published on Xeno-canto:
More about this beautiful species at: