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Pelecaniformes > Threskiornithidae

Eurasian Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia

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Identification

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Distinctive, large white wading bird of warmer climates; small numbers reach northwest Europe, mainly in summer. Found in wetlands with shallow water (including tidal flats), where feeds by sweeping its bill side-to-side for crustaceans and small fish. Long bill ends in a spoon shape. Adult has short crest, yellowish breast patch. First year has paler bill, with fine black wingtips visible in flight. Sleeping birds have horizontal posture and bulging neck, vs. more vertical stance of egrets.

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