Friday, April 26, 2019

Eurasian Spoonbill

The Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) is also known as the common spoonbill and has three subspecies. We saw the nominate subspecies (P. l. leucorodia) in Sri Lanka, both in Udawalawe National Park and Bundala National Park. 
Eurasian spoonbill in Udawalawe NP.

When breeding, which was what we saw, it is all white except dark legs, a black bill with a yellow or orange tip (I thought I was seeing mud), red eyes, a dark yellow collar at the neck base, an orange/yellow area around the base of the bill, a chin and throat that are bare and bright orange, and a buffy/yellow crest. 
Orange at the base of the bill.
Orange at end of bill, red eye and orange and red at neck base. 
Yellow crest and yellow collar at base of neck. 
In non-breeding season, the Eurasian spoonbill lacks the crest, the bill is duller and has a yellowish tip, the orange skin on the chin and throat is reduced, and the yellow collar is reduced and incomplete. 

Although some of the spoonbills I saw were in breeding plumage, I've seen photos of breeding birds that were substantially more spectacularly colored.  

1 comment:

  1. Nothing dainty about this bird. It's hard to call that huge appendage a beak.