The Royal Spoonbill is a large white waterbird with black, spatulate (spoon-shaped) bill, facial skin, legs and feet. During the breeding season, it has a distinctive nuchal (back of head or nape of neck) crest, which can be up to 20 cm long in male birds (usually shorter in females). The crest can be erected during mating displays to reveal bright pink skin underneath. Breeding adults also have a creamy-yellow wash across the lower neck and upper breast and a strip of bright pink skin along the edge of the underwings which is obvious when the bird opens its wings. The facial skin is black with a yellow patch above the eye and a red patch in the middle of the forehead, in front of the crest feathers.
Canon 50D, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM


royal spoonbill, platalea regia, australian, waterbird, sunset, flight

Many thanks for checking out my photos, please feel free to give feedback! My wanderings in nature and observations of birds, particularly raptors, is what gives me great joy and constantly reminds me of the beauty and strength of life. My favourites are raptors, I love their freedom, grace, ruthlessness, pride, adaptability and flexibility and I learn much about parenting, protection and blind faith from them.
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  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alabout 3 years ago

    I’ve never seen one in flight. A terrific capture Deb. A fav Mate.

  • Many thanks Al, there’s a few of them out in the wetlands, although not as many as usual!

    – byronbackyard

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppabout 3 years ago

  • swaby
    swabyabout 3 years ago

    Excellent shot and very beautiful to!

  • Many thanks Tina!

    – byronbackyard

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottabout 3 years ago

    super shot

  • Many thanks Robert!

    – byronbackyard

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerabout 3 years ago

    Well caught and great info !
    I have only seen them once and would love to do so again.

  • Many thanks Trish, if you come here they’re around, but not as much as usual!

    – byronbackyard

  • Trish Threlfall
    Trish Threlfallabout 3 years ago

    awesome capture Deb :))

  • Thanks Trish, waiting for the sunshine again!

    – byronbackyard

  • Trish Threlfall
    Trish Threlfallabout 3 years ago

    did you hear that massive storm last night ??

  • I did, one of my cats gets terrified, I had to put her under the doona with me. I quite like this weather though if I’m at home .. but I miss the birds!

    – byronbackyard

  • Trish Threlfall
    Trish Threlfallabout 3 years ago

    Charlie (my dog ) and I levitated about a foot off the bed at the first crack of thunder :))

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