The Eurasian Spoonbill is also known as Common Spoonbill, and in other languages as Spatule blanche, Espátula Común, Colhereiro-europeu, Löffler, Kanalasgém, Колпица, 白琵鹭, Lepelaar, Spatola eurasiatica, Skedstork, Skjestork, warzęcha (zwyczajna), lyžičiar biely, kolpík bílý, Skestork, kapustahaikara, ヘラサギ.
The Eurasian Spoonbill is from the Threskiornithidae family measuring 1 m in length, 115-135 cm in wingspan, and 1200 -1700 g in weight. Its plumage is white and the legs are black. The bill is characteristic, long with a spoon-shaped tip. The wings of the young are black at their ends. In flight its neck is straight in contrast to the neck of the herons. Its longevity is 28 years.
Distribution and Habitat
The Eurasian Spoonbill inhabits shallow and vast lakes and swamps, frequently flooded river areas in valleys and low lands, river estuaries. After the breeding period it inhabits various wetlands, including saline water basins. It prefers small freshwater or saline water basins, or sluggish rivers. It nests in Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary, the countries on the Balkan Peninsula, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Hindustan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Ethiopia.
The Eurasian Spoonbill is a migratory and breeding species in Bulgaria and as an exception it can winter. The greatest concentration of nesting birds is in the region of Pleven and Burgas. They are also found in the region of Sofia and Samokov.
The Eurasian Spoonbill feeds on small fish and frogs, insects’ larvae, worms, crustaceans, and sometimes on aquatic plants.
The Eurasian Spoonbill lives in colonies of 6 to 160 birds and nest in mixed colonies located in reed plantations or on white poplars or white willows on their lower branches close to the water. It lays from 3 to 7 eggs between April and July and both parents incubate them for 21-25 days. The chicks have thick and soft bill that turns into the characteristic for them after 5 to 6 weeks. They start flying around the 49th day after hatching and reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 or 4.
According to IUCN its status is Least Concern, but in Bulgaria according to the Red Data Book it is Critically Endangered.