Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Eurasian spoonbill

Thai: นกปากช้อนหน้าขาว, nok paak chon naa khao

Binomial name: Platalea leucorodia, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The Eurasian Spoonbill or Common Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) is a wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae.

Distribution

This is a Palearctic species, breeding from the United Kingdom and Spain in the west through to Japan, and also in North Africa. In Europe, only The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Greece have sizeable populations. Most birds migrate to the tropics in winter, with European breeders mainly going to Africa, but a few remaining in mild winter areas of western Europe south to the United Kingdom. It was extirpated from the United Kingdom but sporadic breeding attempts in the early 21st century culminated with the formation of a colony at Holkham in Norfolk in 2010. In 2011, 8 breeding pairs nested, successfully fledging 14 young.

Description

This species is almost unmistakable in most of its range. The breeding bird is all white except for its dark legs, black bill with a yellow tip, and a yellow breast patch like a pelican. It has a crest in the breeding season. Non-breeders lack the crest and breast patch, and immature birds have a pale bill and black tips to the primary flight feathers. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched. The Eurasian Spoonbill differs from the African Spoonbill with which in overlaps in winter, in that the latter species has a red face and legs, and no crest.

They are mostly silent. Even at their breeding colonies the main sounds are bill snapping, occasional deep grunting and occasional trumpeting noises.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Pelecaniformes
Family
Threskiornithidae
Genus
Platalea
Species
Platalea leucorodia

Common names

  • Thai: นกปากช้อนหน้าขาว, nok paak chon naa khao