Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 127 - Royal Spoonbills (and one other!)

Like many people I think I will be putting the blogs on the back burner over the next week or so - but be assured the WBW will pop up on time and in the expected place!  In the chaos of Christmas WBW can be the rock on to which you cling!

Todays birds are Spoonbills - these large water bird seen to be rather nervous and I have struggled to get images of them by 'stalking'.  I think a hide may be needed for these birds - which seems like a good plan for the new year!  (If anybody has any experience of using small portable hides I'd be interested to hear what you have to say).

We have two species of Spoonbill in Australia - The Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) and The Yellow-Billed Spoonbill.

The Royal is the slightly smaller of the two species at about 80cm tall, while the Yellow Bill can be over 90 cm.  But this difference is hard to see in the field - the key field marks are the colour of the bill and legs.  The Royal has a black bill and legs, while the Yellow-Billed is (wait for it!) yellowish! However, in my experience the the bill of the Yellow-Billed often looks almost white, or even flesh coloured.  Maybe its my eyes!

Another difference seems to be that the Royal is a little more proud of its plumage (befitting its station!) and tends to be spotlessly clean, while the Yellow-Billed can look a bit grubby at times!

Royal Spoonbill
Royal Spoonbill
Yellow Billed Spoonbill
Now it's over to you - click the blue button below and off you go into the wide world of WBW.

48 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

the royal sure is snazzy. :)

Linda W. said...

Such unusual bills! But I love them. Nice photos!

EG CameraGirl said...

There's no doubt in my mind how that bird got its name!

Revrunner said...

Probably as close as I'll ever get to either.

NatureFootstep said...

lol, I did see both of them :)

Carletta said...

Black and white dress and royal - lovely! I like the contrast more on the Royal.
My blogging is taking a backseat as well. I'll wish you a joyous Christmas now in case I don't get back. :)

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Spoonbills are neat birds.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

We have nothing but the yellow variety around here. And they aren't very skittish. I've gotten within twenty feet of them before they find other waters to hunt.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Very nice photos and text. They all look pristine to my eye. Of course we have the Roseate Spoonbill, one of my favorite birds. It has appeared only once on our neighborhood Florida wetlands. They are grouped with your spoonbills as part of the Old World ibises. Our ibises are an offshoot of that group. They really get around!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Love them! Just gorgeous as always. Thank you for sharing your beautiful birds and teaching us about them. As well, thank you for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday. A Blessed Christmas to you and yours. -Tammy

Sylvia K said...

Ah, yes!! The perfect name indeed!! Great shots for the day as always, Stewart!! Hope your week is going well!!

Andrew Fulton said...

Amazing birds to see...

DeniseinVA said...

Brilliant! I have never seen a spoonbill with a black beak before.

Sharon Wagner said...

They are so weird looking. I've failed at seeing our roseate spoonbills in the wild. Someday. Happy Holidays!

Frank said...

The Royal certainly looks more regal with that distinctive black bill. Super views of both species Stewart.

Best wishes to you and the family for a glorious (warm) Christmas.

Bethany Carson said...

Those are neat birds! I really enjoyed your photos.

Lee said...

Such interesting looking birds...Nature is a wonderful thing.

I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmast, Stewart. Relax and enjoy your time together. :)

Adam Tilt said...

That Royal Spoonbill is a stunner. Love the yellow eye and black bill combo.

mick said...

Great photos of the Spoonbills. I have not seen the one with the yellow bill.

Adam Jones said...

They're very impressive looking Spoonbills.

eileeninmd said...

The Royal Spoonbill is beautiful. Wonderful sighting and photos of both of the Spoonbills, Stewart.. I did not know there were so many.. Thanks for hosting, have a Merry Christmas!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Wow...love the dark bill!! Ours here have 'grayish' bills.

If we don't see you for the holidays...I hope you and your family have a great Christmas Stewart.

Felicia said...

they are interesting looking birds.

Kerry said...

Beautiful birds! What crazy beaks they have, but I guess it is just right for them. :) Love it.

Wally Jones said...

Great photographs, Stewart!

I love watching Spoonbills feed with that back and forth motion.
Very interesting post!

We wish you and your family a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!

Montanagirl said...

I believe I favor the looks of the Royals! lol

Irma said...

Beautiful photos of the spoonbill.
Perfect photographed Stewart.
Best regards, Irma

Lynn said...

They are gorgeous-great shots.

Mary Hone said...

What a fun looking bird. Love the shots.

Marie said...

They are truly beautiful birds and so interesting with their spoonbills. Commenting will be sparse for sure for most of us these next two weeks, but it's a time of year when we all understand.

Small City Scenes said...

The Royal is a bit more important looking what with that elegant bill. MB

bailey-road.com said...

The gorgeous Royal Spoonbill seems to be aptly named.

A Quiet Corner said...

I have never seen one up close so this is AWESOME!!! And to think you were right near them!!!!...:)JP

Margaret Adamson said...

Love both types of Spoonbills. Thanks for linking me in and hosting.

mrbennettkent said...

I saw a yellow billed in Queensland and it was a childhood dream cone true! I have been fascinated by these rather odd birds since I saw one in a book when I was a Kid. The Royal really is an eye-catching bird with the yellow eyes. Lovely sequence

Brian King said...

Fantastic shots, Stewart! I love the second one!

Terri Buster said...

Super shots- Merry Christmas to you and yours!

pattisjarrett said...

The Royal Spoonbill is definitely dressed for the occasion. Glad to hear WBW will be the rock to tie our anchor to over this busy season. :) Thanks for hosting.

Linda said...

Very cool birds!
I hope your holiday is splendid!

Mary Cromer said...

Spoonbills, rather a good name for these interesting and beautiful birds.

Phyllis Oller said...

very neat looking birds,would love to watch them in person! Have a wonderful week & stay warm,phyllis

lindaakacraftygardener said...

I'd love to capture spoonbill photos through my lens. Lovely birds.

Susan (ABON) said...

Love the black billed ones, beautiful!

Hannah said...

Good stalking! Great shots of the spoonbills, it's nice to see both. The Royal does seem to have a lot of pizzazz with the wonderful crest, the red on the eyes, and the contrast with the black.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I will eventually be back to WBW -- I always visit the rock that it is, even if I don't always contribute!

We have Roseate Spoonbills here in Florida and I did not know that there were any others. Fascinating birds.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Andrea Priebe said...

Well, believe it or not, I am just coming over to WBW on a Saturday morning. Like you, I am scurrying around try to whip up a Christmas befitting my wonderful family (though my son will be in Thailand for Christmas and sorely missed). I love your Spoonbills and though I agree the Royal looks regal, I don't see any scruffy on the Yellow. They are both impressive birds. I am hoping to have time to post on your Christmas Eve WBW, but just in case (being that I never get as much done as I think I am going to) I want to make sure that I wish you a Very Merry Christmas with your wonderful Family. Having children that are young enough to stir up the excitement is always a plus. Since I don't have your home address, I posted a Christmas card of Nature Footsteps ... it is for you as well as my other blogging friends. Be well, be safe and enjoy, Stewart ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Liz said...

Great shots of the Royal. They can be rather unobliging and very flighty. I have never come across the Yellow though.

Jo said...

That royal sure is regal. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Jo