spoonbill

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spoonbill,

common name for a large wading bird related to the ibis. It has a long bill with a tip like a flattened spoon, with which it captures small aquatic animals. The roseate spoonbill, Ajaia ajaja, its plumage rosy pink accented with carmine on the wings and tail, is found from the Gulf states S to Argentina and Chile. In the United States it was almost exterminated for its feathers. The common spoonbill of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Platalea leucorodia, is white and crested. Other species are found in Australia, Japan, and tropical Africa. The unrelated shoveler duck is sometimes called spoonbill, and there is a spoon-billed sandpiper. Spoonbills are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Ciconiiformes, family Threskiornithidae.

Spoonbill

 

(Platalea leucorodia), a bird of the family Plataleidae of the order Ciconiiformes. Its body length measures about 80 cm, and its weight about 1.5 kg. The bill is flat and expanded near the tip in the shape of a spatula. The plumage is white.

The spoonbill is distributed in Europe, Asia, and northeastern Africa. In the USSR it is found in the south, from the lower Danube to Primor’e. A migratory bird, it winters in Africa and southern Asia. The spoonbill settles in colonies, usually at the mouths of rivers that are overgrown with reeds. It feeds mainly on small invertebrates. The bird installs its nests on bent reed stalks, more rarely in trees. Three to five eggs are laid at one time. The young hatch covered with down but are blind and helpless.

spoonbill

any of several wading birds of warm regions, such as Platalea leucorodia (common spoonbill) and Ajaia ajaja (roseate spoonbill), having a long horizontally flattened bill: family Threskiornithidae, order Ciconiiformes