Monday, May 6, 2013

Black-faced Spoonbill

Platalea minor
Of all the Spoonbills in the world, only the Black-faced Spoonbill is considered to be Endangered. It is estimed that there are around 2,700 of these wading birds left in the world, and they
breed only on a handful of islands off the coast of Korea and the Liaoning Province of China.

Black-faced Spoonbills have white-feathered bodies, with black bills and faces. During the breeding season their neck feathers turn yellow, and they also develop a crest along the back of their head. They breed in May, building nests on cliffs, and spend their non-breeding time living in coastal wetlands and mudflats. Their spoon-shaped bills help them to dredge up small fish and crustaceans.

These birds are endangered due to habitat loss. The wetlands that they live in are being drained for development and agriculture. It also doesn't help that they have very few wintering sites (specific locations in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Vietnam). Should something happen to any of those sites (natural or man-made), the birds would be in even more trouble. Black-faced Spoonbills are protected in most of their breeding and wintering ranges, and a survey is being continuously done to track their numbers.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : East Asia
Size : Length up to 30in (77cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Pelecaniformes
Family : Threskiornithidae -- Genus : Platalea -- Species : P. minor
Image : Alnus

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