African spoonbill

Platalea alba

Common name

African spoonbill

Habitat

It lives in large areas of surface water wetlands, such as lakes, rivers, marshes, floodplains and permanent or temporary swampy areas, as well as artificial ponds. It is less common in coastal lagoons and estuaries.
Features

Family

Threskiornithidae

Medals

ciconiiformes

Class

Birds

Gestation

26-29 days

Number of offspring

2 – 4

Preproduction

Diet

Carnivorous based on small fish, frogs and aquatic invertebrates

Life

25-30 years

Biology and behavior

Its size is 75 to 90 cm and its weight is around 2 kg. Males are slightly larger, they also have a larger and more robust beak. The plumage of adults is white. The face, devoid of feathers, has red skin.

Its characteristic beak is shaped like a flat spoon. The upper jaw of the beak is gray with reddish edges; the lower jaw is darker with possible yellowish edges. The skin on the legs and feet is red.

It usually nests in colonies, which may be only its own species or may be made up of other birds. The nest is built on trees, bushes, aquatic vegetation and on rocks. The clutch usually consists of two to four eggs that are incubated by both parents. Incubation takes 26 to 29 days.

At five weeks old, the chicks can fly like adults. They remain in the care of their parents for about two more weeks.

Species in West Africa and Sudan breed during the dry season, in East and Central Africa in the rainy season, and in the South in winter or early spring.

Some
curiosities

The chicks are not born with the distinctive beak of the adults, it is small and similar to that of other species. It gradually grows and takes the shape of a spoon. Until that moment they are very similar to those of the ibis.

African savanna
Wetlands
africans
Habitats
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island