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African Spoonbill | Platalea alba

The African Spoonbill is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Threskiornithidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ibises, Spoonbills.

The description for the African Spoonbill (Latin name Platalea alba) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Platalea alba can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 95 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 612. You will find a picture of the African Spoonbill on page 593.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Spoonbill between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The African Spoonbill is known in Afrikaans as Lepelaar.

The African Spoonbill has a height of 90 cms and weighs around 1600 gms. The head is coloured red while the bill is coloured blue, grey. The Platalea alba has a yellow coloured throat, red legs and a white coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

The male Platalea alba has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is red

Eyes are yellow

Bill is blue, grey

Legs are red

Throat is yellow

Back is white

Feeding Habits ...

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Spoonbill is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.

The African Spoonbill is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

You can see the African Spoonbill bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The African Spoonbill is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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