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Fun Eurasian Spoonbill Facts For Kids

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Outdoor & NatureLearn more

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Do you like large beautiful birds, like the American flamingo? Then we have all the information on the Eurasian spoonbill. The Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) belongs to the family Threskiornithidae and order Pelecaniformes of animals. This wading bird species is known to be migratory. The Eurasian spoonbill range spreads across many parts of Eurasia. The breeding season of this species occurs at different months according to their geographical distribution. The breeding nest of the Eurasian spoonbill bird is made mostly by the male. This species has the ability to take a long flight owing to its migratory nature. Many come together in groups when foraging or during breeding. The species is known for its spatulate bill and the beautiful crest of breeding birds. Along with long bills, they also have long black legs.

For more relatable content, check out these umbrellabird facts and ovenbird facts for kids.

Eurasian Spoonbill Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Eurasian spoonbill?

The Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) is a species of wading bird.

What class of animal does a Eurasian spoonbill belong to?

The Eurasian spoonbill bird species belongs to the family Threskiornithidae, order Pelecaniformes, and class Aves of animals.

How many Eurasian spoonbills are there in the world?

The European population range of the Eurasian spoonbill is about 20,400-30,500 adult birds, while the global range is about 63,000-65,000 individual adults. The population trend of this species is not uniform in all the places it occurs. The overall trend is not known.

Where does a Eurasian spoonbill live?

There are three subspecies under this wading bird species, and the geographical distribution of these birds differs according to the subspecies. The Platalea leucorodia archeri lives in Somalia and the coasts of the Red Sea. The Platalea leucorodia balsaci lives in the islands around the coasts of Mauritania. Lastly, the Platalea leucorodia leucorodia lives in the east and central Asian countries to south-east Europe, Holland, and southern Spain, southwards to Sri Lanka, India, and the Persian Gulf.

What is a Eurasian spoonbill's habitat?

The primary habitats of the Eurasian spoonbill are large and shallow water wetlands.

Who does Eurasian spoonbill live with?

Eurasian spoonbills are mostly solitary. However, they come together in small groups for foraging and in large groups, making colonies, during the breeding season.

How long does a Eurasian spoonbill live?

The lifespan of the birds of this species, on average, is not known. However, a particular bird of this species has been known to live up to the age of 30 years old.

How do they reproduce?

Adult Eurasian spoonbills reach sexual maturity at the age of around three to four years. The breeding season and nesting of the birds differ according to their geographical range. The breeding season occurs around December to April in Sri Lanka, July to October in north India, November to January in south India, and starts from April in Spain. During this time, many birds come together and form breeding colonies. The males mostly make the nests, and after copulation, the females lay about three to four eggs on average. Both males and females incubate the eggs for the next 24-25 days. The male and female look after the young ones once the eggs hatch. The young birds fledge at the age of around 45-50 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Eurasian spoonbill, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is listed as Least Concern. The threats this species is facing within its geographical range are habitat loss, poaching, over-fishing, and electrical wires.

Eurasian Spoonbill Fun Facts

What does the Eurasian spoonbill look like?

The Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) is a large-sized bird. Adults of these birds have an overall white body, long bills, and legs. When the time for breeding arrives in the adult male and female birds, a crest appears. A yellow neck collar at the base of the neck and orange color at the chin and throat with yellowish-orange color at the base of the bill also appear. The legs of all the birds are black. They also have a spatulate black bill with a yellow tip, except in the case of Platalea leucorodia balsaci, that lack the yellowish tip. Black tips can be seen in primary wing coverts in some adult birds.

The breeding nest is made by Eurasian spoonbill adult males.

How cute are they?

Birds of this species are gorgeous owing to their beautiful colors, crest, and size. Their behavior is also non-aggressive towards humans or otherwise.

How do they communicate?

The Eurasian spoonbill communicates vocally and visually. These birds have been seen to be silent most of the time except in breeding colonies. However, in-flight, a slight nasal 'fwit-fwit' call can be heard. A deep grunting 'huh-huh' is heard around the nest, during nest relief a 'k'lick-k'lick', and when the chicks beg for food, high pitched 'reeeuh-reeeuh' squeals can be heard.

How big is a Eurasian spoonbill?

An adult Eurasian spoonbill is about 27.5-37.4 in (70-95 cm) in length. The wingspan of these birds is around 45.3-53.1 in (115-135 cm). They are slightly bigger than glossy ibises. Glossy ibises are about 19–26 in (48–66 cm) in length.

How fast can a Eurasian spoonbill fly?

The exact speed at which Eurasian spoonbills fly is not known. However, they have been seen moving at a moderate pace when in flight. They make short glides with shallow and fast wing-beats.

How much does a Eurasian spoonbill weigh?

These are large-sized birds. An adult Eurasian spoonbill weighs about 2.5-4.3 lb (1.1-2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males of this species are called cocks, and the females of this species are called hens.

What would you call a baby Eurasian spoonbill?

A baby Eurasian spoonbill is called a chick or a hatchling.

What do they eat?

The feeding habits of these birds are similar to other omnivorous birds of the Threskiornithidae family. Their primary diet consists of animal-based food that includes small fish, wormsshrimps, mollusks, tadpoles, gobies, larvae, and adult insects, like dragonflies, locusts, water beetles, caddisflies, and more. The plant-based diet includes aquatic plant matter and algae.

Are they dangerous?

These birds don't interact with humans a lot. Even when they do, they are not known to be aggressive or dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Eurasian spoonbills do not make good pets. They require a certain environment with water bodies to survive. If they are taken from this natural habitat, it will only harm them.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Other than the Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), five more species of spoonbills belonging to the Platalea genus can be seen that live all around the world. Black-faced spoonbills are closely related to Eurasian spoonbills. Some spoonbill birds stay in one place throughout the year, and some are known to migrate. If you're searching for spoonbills in the UK, Eurasian spoonbills can be spotted around the southwest and northwest coasts of the country.

Why do spoonbills turn pink?

Only roseate spoonbills among the total six species turn a pink color. This color change happens due to their diet. They eat aquatic invertebrates, including crustaceans that contain the pigment carotenoids. This pigment from the crustaceans causes the feathers of the roseate spoonbills to turn pink.

What is the Eurasian spoonbill's migration pattern?

The Eurasian spoonbill is migratory in nature. The birds of this species living in the Palearctic region migrate to Guinea-Bissau and Senegal for winter. The ones from west Europe primarily migrate to tropical north Africa. Some migrate to the Mediterranean Basin for winter. The ones from the Netherlands winter in Iberia, France, and Mauritania. Birds from central Europe migrate to Sudan and Egypt, spoonbills in the Balkans migrate to Tunisia and south Italy, birds from the Danube Delta migrate to Oman and Spain, and from north Asia, they migrate to South Asia in winter. Some birds have been seen in Mali, Sierra Leone, Niger, Burkina Faso, northeast Nigeria, Gambia, and Chad during winter. They start to return to their breeding grounds in the spring.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our red bird of paradise facts and cardinal bird facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable spoonbill bird coloring pages.

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