Royal Spoonbills

Yesterday I wrote about my love of Yellow Billed Spoonbills. They are truly wonderful birds and certainly have a special place in my birding life.

I also delight in seeing their cousins the Royal Spoonbill with their distinctively coloured bills. Both species are to be found in my home district here in Murray Bridge, though not in large numbers – usually singles through to a half dozen or so.

So far I haven’t managed to get a good photo of the Royal Spoonbill but Snail on A Snail’s Eye View has several excellent photos here.

Both species of Spoonbills are widespread throughout northern, eastern and southern Australia where suitable habitat exists. Both are present in SW Western Australia, though the Yellow Billed Spoonbill is far more common there than the Royal. Their preferred habitats include wetlands, swamps, lakes, shallow waters, estuarine waters, dams and irrigated areas. Both species feed by moving steadily through shallow water, swishing the bill sideways to and fro searching for food.

For a great deal more information about their feeding and breeding habits go to the Birds in Backyards site here. This site also has a distribution map. More information about the Yellow Billed Spoonbill, including a distribution map, can be found here.


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