BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book

Long-Legged WADERS

The long-legged waders are comprised of the egrets, herons, ibises, spoonbills, storks, and flamingos. They are a diverse group, united by their long legs that enable them to wade for food. Their familes and orders are given below:
Egret, Herons: Order Pelecaniformes, Family Ardeidae
Ibis, Spoonbills: Order Pelecaniformes, Family Threskiornithidae
Pelecaniformes also includes Balaenicipitidae (Shoebill); Pelecanidae (Pelicans); Scopidae (Hamerkop)
Storks: Order Ciconiiformes, Family Ciconiidae
Flamingos: Order Phoenicopteriformes, Family Phoenicopteridae


Order Pelicaniformes    Family Threskiornithidae

Ibises and Spoonbills are closely related. Their most striking difference is in bill shape, with the Ibises having curved bills and the Spoonbills having straight bills that are broad at the end. Ibises use their bills to probe in mud, while Spoonbills move their side to side in the water to catch prey. At night they roost in trees that are near and often overhanging water.

Ibises and Spoonbills have recently been placed in the same order as Pelicans and Herons. Stay tuned!

Genus Platalea

Spoonbill, African  Platalea alba  Found: Africa
The breeding African Spoonbill has mainly white plumage; red face, legs; gray bill. Juveniles lack the red face and have a yellow bill.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - St. Lucia, South Africa   2) Dick - San Diego Zoo   3) Dick - Birds of Eden, South Africa  4) Charlie Westerinen - Zimbabwe

Spoonbill, Black-faced  Platalea minor   Found: coastal areas of eastern Asia
The Black-faced Spoonbill has mainly white plumage; black of face surrounds eyes and forehead; black bill; dark legs. Breeding has yellow breast-patch; white crest.
Similar to: Eurasian Spoonbill. Breeding Eurasian Spoonbill has yellow-tipped black bill; breeding Black-faced Spoonbill has black bill with no yellow tip. Black-faced Spoonbill has black face.
Image by:  1) Charles Lam   2) Darren Bellerby - Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong  3) Cp9asngf

Spoonbill, Eurasian  also  Common Spoonbill  Platalea leucorodia  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The breeding Eurasian Spoonbill has mainly white plumage; yellow breast-patch; black bill with yellow tip; dark legs; crest.  Nonbreeding lack crest and breast-patch.. Juvenile has pale bill; black tipped primary feathers.
Similar to: Black-faced Spoonbill. Breeding Eurasian Spoonbill has yellow-tipped black bill; breeding Black-faced Spoonbill has black bill with no yellow tip. Black-faced Spoonbill has black face.
Image by: 1) Creando  2) Bhardwaj Shanthanu - India  3) Iacopo lea - Italy  4) Andreas Trepte  5) Cristiano Crolle - Texel, Holland

Spoonbill, Roseate  Platalea ajaja  also  Ajaia ajaja  Found: The Americas
The Roseate Spoonbill is the only spoonbill found in the Americas. It is easy to identify because of its spoon-like bill. It has pink plumage which varies in color depending on diet and age; gray bill.
Image by:   1, 3) Dick Daniels - Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida    2) Sandy Cole - Flamingo Gardens, Flroida  4) Sandy Cole - Sylvan Heights  5) Dick - San Francisco Zoo  6) Dick - San Diego Zoo   7) Dick - National Aviary 8) Dominic Sherony

Spoonbill, Royal also Black-billed Spoonbill Platalea regia    Found: Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Islands
The Royal Spoonbill has white plumage; black bill, legs.
Image by: 1, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Australia   2) Dick - Australia  

Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Platalea flavipes     Found: Australia
The Yellow-billed Spoonbill has white plumage; yellowish bill, legs, feet.
Image by:  1) Petr Baum - Zoo in Healesville, Victoria  2, 3) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo

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