This is a very peculiar bird with a spoon on the end of its bill! There are five other species but this is the one which can be found in a few parts of Europe and in parts of Asia (particularly India and China).It is a bird of marshes, and uses its bill to sieve its food (almost any sort of small animal - insects, worms, tadpoles, fish etc.).
The adults are almost completely white and the bill is black with a yellow tip. In flight the neck is extended and it is easy to see the bill shape. Colonies of breeding birds are very traditional and the Western European ones are in Spain and the Netherlands. Others are in and to the South and West of Austria and Hungary. These birds are great wanderers and there are regular records in Britain. Breeding may not be too long in coming - they bred in Eastern England until about 350 years ago.
It has a spoon on the end of its bill - otherwise egret-like.
Length 850 mm Closed wing 380 mm Weight 1800 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead