Platalea – Spoonbills

Gold panners might have taken inspiration from these birds

Platalea is a genus of long-legged spoonbills found in wetlands all across the world.

Spoonbills are social birds that like to eat and fly together. During the day, they spend many hours looking for food in shallow freshwater or coastal waters. The birds eat by swinging their bills from side to side as they steadily walk through the water, often in groups. Because their bills are shaped like spoons, they can easily feel through the mud to find food.

Spoonbills are carnivores. Their food includes crustaceans, aquatic insects, frogs, newts, and small fish.

Spoonbills are serially monogamous, meaning they only have one partner at a time. They nest in small groups, and the males are always on guard to keep other birds from intruding into their territory.