Amy Whitehead's Research

the ecological musings of a conservation biologist

Wildlife Wednesday: Yellow-billed Spoonbill



This handsome chap is a yellow-billed spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) hanging at the top of a dead tree in Yanchep National Park just north of Perth.  I spotted it from about 100m away and, despite my best sneaking efforts, only managed to shoot a few frames before it flew majestically off into the distance.

Yellow-billed spoonbills, like their royal spoonbill cousins, live close to waterways.  They walk slowly through the water to disturb small animals in the mud, sensing the vibrations of their prey with the edges of the “spoon”.  They use this weird-shaped bill like forceps to snap up tasty treats, including yabbies, shrimp, insect larvae and small fish.  Yellow-billed spoonbills are found across most of mainland Australia and occasionally in New Zealand, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.



10 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday: Yellow-billed Spoonbill

  1. That is a handsome chap. I’ve never seen one before so it was a great introduction.

  2. That’s a very interesting looking bird! I’ve never seen one before.

  3. I bet that bird would NOT have tried to steal my lunch. 😉

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  7. The yellow -billed spoonbills are relatively common in the Perth city, and can be viewed at a range of wetlands around the Swan river, including at Burswood ponds and the stretch of bike path that winds from Eric Singleton bird sanctuary to Maylands and Windan Bridge. They can be viewed from the paths with relative ease.

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