Sunday 19 May
Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Black-faced spoonbill fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Black-faced spoonbill description
The black-faced spoonbill is a relatively small wading bird with, as its name would suggest, an elongated, spoon-shaped bill. The plumage is white in colour, and the face and bill are black (2). During the breeding season, mature adults develop longer crest feathers at the back of the neck, and these and the breast area become a golden yellow (4). Adult black-faced spoonbills have red eyes and yellow patches on their cheeks (5). Male black-faced spoonbills can be distinguished from females by their longer bills; while the bills of immature birds are a pinkish-grey rather than black (4).
- Length: 76 cm (2)
Black-faced spoonbill biology
The breeding season begins in early May and nests are constructed upon cliffs; the clutch size is usually three eggs. Breeding success is relatively low but fledging generally occurs at around five weeks old (6). By mid-August, the young are independent and the annual migration to the wintering grounds can begin. These birds are relatively gregarious, roosting together in flocks usually during daylight hours (6). Foraging may also occur in groups, and flocks of around 25 birds have been seen feeding on the mud flats, their bills just skimming the surface of the water for food (6). A variety of tidal species are taken, from small fish to crabs and shrimp; foraging appears to take place in the dark or is dependent on the tide (6).Top
Black-faced spoonbill range
Found along the east Asian coast, these birds are known to breed on islands off the coast of North and South Korea and in Liaoning Province, China. Following the breeding season, the population migrates to wintering grounds at three major sites: Tsengwen Estuary, Taiwan, Inner Deep Bay, Hong Kong, and the Red River Delta, Vietnam (2).Top
Black-faced spoonbill habitat
Inhabits intertidal habitats along the coast; nesting occurs on cliffs close to tidal flats, whilst winter grounds are situated on estuary wetlands, mudflats and mangroves (6).Top
Black-faced spoonbill statusTop
Black-faced spoonbill threats
Habitat destruction in the form of the alteration and drainage of wetlands for aquaculture and industrial development is probably the biggest threat to the survival of the black-faced spoonbill (6). The small number of wintering sites means that the species is very vulnerable to any chance event that may occur, particularly to the potentially catastrophic effects of pollution (6).Top
Black-faced spoonbill conservation
The black-faced spoonbill is protected in China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea and Japan, and a number of both breeding and wintering sites are protected as sanctuaries (2). An Action Plan for the species was produced in 1995, following an international workshop; the Wild Bird Society of Japan acts as the secretariat of the Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Network (6). Educational and research programmes have been undertaken in a number of countries, and an international census has been established and run by Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (4).Top
Find out more
For further information on the black-faced spoonbill see:
- BirdLife International:
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
- IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
- BirdLife International (April, 2003)
- CMS (April, 2003)
- Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (April, 2003)
- Formosa: World of Birds(Taiwan Public Television Service and Field Culture Corporation tx. 1996).
- BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.