Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Yellow-billed SpoonbillOther Names: Yellow-legged Spoonbill
Scientific Name: Platalea flavipes
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 76–90 cm
Weight: 1.7 kg
Incubation: 26–31 days
Number of eggs: 2–4 

Distribution: Found in most parts of Australia except in dry central areas
Habitat: Freshwater areas including dams, river edges and shallow lakes and swamps

Description: The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is a large, white bird with a yellow bill, legs and feet. It has a black outline around its face and black tips on its inner wings. Juvenile birds are very similar to adults but their faces lack a black border.

Diet: The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is a carnivore and eats water insects, crustaceans, fish and molluscs. Its large bill sweeps from side to side through shallow waters, using the vibration sensors on the inside of its bill to find and scoop food into its mouth.

Breeding: The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is less sociable than the Royal Spoonbill but often shares its nesting site with other water birds such as ibises and Royal Spoonbills. It chooses high forks in trees over water for its nest. The male gathers the nesting materials, such as sticks, rushes and seeds and the female builds the nest. Both the male and the female incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.

Threats: Yellow-billed Spoonbills are threatened by the destruction of wetland breeding sites.

At Perth Zoo: You can see Yellow-billed Spoonbills in the Australian Wetlands.

Did You Know? The Yellow-billed Spoonbill has been described as almost mute but is sometimes heard to grunt slightly or clap its bill.

Download the Yellow-billed Spoonbill Fact Sheet (pdf).

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