080 Eurasian Spoonbill
(Platalea leucorodia)


80-93cm. The Eurasian Spoonbill is a very characteristic bird and unmistakable by its spatula-shaped black bill, which is yellow at end. Its entire body is covered by dazzling white plumage. Its head ochre on chin and base of neck. The Spoonbill has long, thick black legs. Unmistakable at close range, with long bill with spatula-shaped tip. At distance can be confused only with one of the white egrets owing to its size and all-white plumage.


In Hungary it's migrant and breeds in the reedbeds of larger marshes and fishponds (e.g. in Hortobágy, Kiskunság, Lake Kolon, Southern Great Plain, Lake Velence, Kis-Balaton, Lake Fertő and Hanság) and less frequently also in floodplain forests (e.g. Lake Tisza). Recently the population has been definitely increasing. Migrant. Occurs between March and October in Hungary, but smaller flocks can stay until the first frost mainly on drained lowland fishponds, and in mild winters some birds may overwinter.

080 Eurasian Spoonbill pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008