RSPB
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Conservation status: Amber

Spoonbills are tall white waterbirds with long spatulate black bills and long black legs. In flight they fly with necks and legs extended, in the water they feed with elegant sideward sweeps of their bill. In the breeding season adults show some yellow on their breast and bill tip. The species is of European conservation concern and a very rare breeding bird in the UK. Most birds migrate south in the winter, but numerous individuals remain and winter in Western Europe.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Platalea leucorodia

Family

Ibises and spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Where to see them

Although still uncommon, spoonbills can be seen on coastal sites in north-west and south-west England and East Anglia. RSPB reserves to visit include the Exe Estuary reserves, Arne, and Titchwell Marsh.

When to see them

All year round

What they eat

Mainly aquatic insects and small fish.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-0-4 pairs20 birds-

Distribution

Key