Platalea leucorodia   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Field Identification: found in parties about water; a tall white long legged bird immediately identified by the black spoon shaped bill.

Voice: A low grunt and a clattering of the mandibles are the only sounds uttered.

A long-necked, long-legged snow-white marsh bird with black legs and a distinctive, large, flat, black-and-yellow spoon-shaped bill. A pale yellowish brown patch on foreneck. A long, full nuchal crest in the breeding season. Sexes alike. Individually, or flocks, at jheels etc.

Habits: Affects marshes and jheels, mudbanks in rivers, and also estuarine mudflats. Feeds actively in the morning and evenings. A flock wades into shallow water, and with outstretched neck and obliquely held partly open bills the birds move forward sweeping in a half circle from side to side and raking up the bottom mud with the tip of the lower mandible. Flight rather slow, with steady wing beats, neck and legs extended. Flocks fly in V-formation or in diagonal single lines.

Nesting: Season- between July and November, later in S. India, varying with monsoon conditions. Nest- rather massive stick platforms amongst a mixed heronry on trees standing in or near water. Eggs-4, sullied white, sparingly spotted and blotched with deep reddish brown.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Eurasian Spoonbill (English)
• Chamach baza (Hindi)
• Dabil (Hindi)
• Spoonbill (English)
• Kala sherati (Marathi)
• Karandi mooku naarai (Tamil)
• Shwet aati (sanskrit)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened by habitat degradation through drainage and pollution (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), and is especially affected by the disappearance of reed swamps due to agricultural and hydroelectric development. Over-fishing and disturbance have caused population declines in Greece, and human exploitation of eggs and nestlings for food has threatened the species in the past.)
Threats:  Natural threats
(The species is also susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus)

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Mollusca, fish, tadpoles, aquatic insects, frogs and vegetable matter.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Goa, Arpora INDIA (Record: 11/11/1995, 13/11/1995)
• Goa, Baga INDIA (Record: 11/11/1995, 13/11/1995)
• Orissa, Habalpatia INDIA
• Orissa, Gahirmatha INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Gujarat, Bet Dwarka INDIA
• Maharashtra, Navi Mumbai INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Gujarat, Mahi River estuary INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Muthupet Mangroves (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 79.58) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Johnsingh, AJT (2001) The Kalakad-Mundanthurai tiger reserve: A global heritage of biological diversity Current Science Indian Acadamy of Sciences 80(3) 378-388 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Balasubramanian, T Lagoons of India Environmental Information System Centre, Envis Publication Series: 3/2001 105 pp Available at -
  • Westheide, W (2000) Mahesia ammophila, a new genus and species of interstitial hesionid (Annelida: Polychaeta) from the Indian Ocean Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 113(3) 644-651
  • Kumar, A (2002) Avifauna of Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan Zoos' Print Journal 17(4) 764-768 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nagarjuna, A; Kumar,NVN; Kalarani, V and Reddy, DC (2010) Aquatic and avian biodiversity of Pulicat brackish water lake and ecological degradation World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 2 (2) 118-123 Available at -
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Whistler, H (1949) Popular handbook of Indian Birds Gurney and Jackson 542pp Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2002) Waders and other wetland birds on Byet Dwarka Island, Gulf of Kutch, western India Wader Study Group Bull. 31-34 Available at -
  • Nayak, A.K. (2006) Status of migratory shorebirds at Bhitarkanika and Chilika wetlands on the east coast of India Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK 305-307pp Available at -
  • Pawar PP (2011) Species diversity of birds in mangroves of Uran (Raigad), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, West coast of India Journal of Experimental Sciences 2(10) 73-77 Available at -
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -
  • Lal Mohan RS (1986) Birds and Bird Catchers Of Ramanathapuram Coast Available at -
  • Pandya PJ and Vachhrajani KD (2010) Birds of Mahi River estuary, Gujarat, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(6) 994-1000pp Available at -
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Deiva Oswin S (1999) Avifaunal diversity of Muthupet mangrove forest Zoo's print journal 14(6) 47-53 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-07-24

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