Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Linnaeus

Kan: Chamachadha kokku
Tamil: Karandi mukh narai
Tamil (Sri Lanka) Chappai chundan
Telugu: Gent muku konga
Hindi: Chamach baza
Bengali: Chinta, Khunte bak

The long flat spoon shaped beak/bill catches your attention. This bird preys in shallow water. It moves mining the area in front in semi-circles. It rakes up the matter with the bill tip and uses its wide flat bill as a sieve. Feeds on tadpoles, frogs, molluscs, insects & vegetable matter. Mmmm, interesting menu card.

Both sexes look alike. This guy stood on one feet for a long time.


  • Snow-white body
  • Long black legs
  • Yellow-buff patch on lower neck (prominently visible)
  • Yellow throat patch (seen in the pic below)
  • Long white pointed plumes during breeding
  • Long flat spoon shaped black bill with yellow tip

The calls are low grunt and clattering of the mandibles.

Found throughout the Indian sub-continent. Nests July to Nov (later in South India). The eggs are 4, dull white, spotted and blotched with deep red.

All snaps at Ranganthittu bird sanctuary, Dec 31st 2005.

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