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Common name Eurasian spoonbill
Scientific name Platalea leucorodia
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Large wader (approx 93 cm or 36.5 in) with an also large wingspan (approx 135 cm or 4.5 ft) wearing white plumage. Unmistakable by its black and long bill with the flattened end as if it were a spatula. The tip of the bill has a yellowish spot that becomes more intense in the breeding season. During this time adults also exhibit a plume of yellow feathers and a collar of the same colour on the breast, more marked in males. Long, black legs. In flight it shows a silhouette with stretched legs and neck, like storks.



Where it lives

Shallow wetlands close to the coast, with sandy bottoms, mud or affected by the tides and lacking submerged vegetation.

How it lives

Wintering species in the province. This bird can also be seen in migratory passage. It breeds between April and May in colonies. Nest in trees. One annual laying of 3 to 4 eggs. The Eurasian Spoonbill forages in groups and feeds on aquatic invertebrates and also small fish and amphibians. It explores the bottom of the wetland with its bill, turning its head from side to side. The bill does not filter the mud and is very sensitive to the presence of buried animals, as it is the case with waders, which allows it to capture the food.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Mouth of the Guadalhorce, Fuente de Piedra and Campillos lagoons and mouth of the Vélez river. In migratory passage, they can be seen all along the coastline, always on the inland, since they do not usually fly over the sea.

Curious facts

The Latin name of this species refers to its resemblance to a white heron with a spatula-shaped bill. However, Eurasian spoonbills have a more funny name, dating from the time of the Middle Ages. Then they were known as "averramias" (in English "branchbirds") because of their habit of nesting in aviaries and, therefore, always being among the branches of trees.

Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration