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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 17.9 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen lived for 17.9 years in captivity (Brouwer et al. 1994).
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African spoonbill

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The African spoonbill (Platalea alba) is a long-legged wading bird[2] of the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae. The species is widespread across Africa and Madagascar, including Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.[2]

Biology

It lives in marshy wetlands with some open shallow water and nests in colonies in trees or reedbeds. They usually don't share colonies with storks or herons. The African spoonbill feeds in shallow water, and fishes for various fish,[2] molluscs,[2] amphibians, crustaceans,[2] insects[2] and larvae.[2] The animal uses its open bill to catch foods by swinging it from side-to-side in the water, which catches foods in its mouth.[2] Long legs and thin, pointed toes enable it to walk easily through varying depths of water.[3]

The African spoonbill is almost unmistakable through most of its range. The breeding bird is all white except for its red legs and face and long grey spatulate bill. It has no crest, unlike the common spoonbill. Immature birds lack the red face and have a yellow bill. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched.

Breeding

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African spoonbill in flight
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Platalea alba - MHNT

The African spoonbill begins breeding in the winter, which lasts until spring.[2] The spoonbill's nest, generally located in trees above water, is built from sticks and reeds and lined with leaves.[3] Three to five eggs are laid by the female birds, usually during the months of April or May.[2] The eggs are incubated by both parents for up to 29 days, and upon hatching the young birds are cared for by both parents for around 20 to 30 days.[2] The birds are ready to leave the nest soon afterward, and begin flying after another four weeks.[2]

The African spoonbill is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Platalea alba". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22697564A93620935. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697564A93620935.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "African Spoonbill." Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Honoluluzoo.org. Accessed June 2011.
  3. ^ a b ""African Spoonbill Fact Sheet, Lincoln Park Zoo"". Archived from the original on 2015-12-20. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
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African spoonbill: Brief Summary

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The African spoonbill (Platalea alba) is a long-legged wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae. The species is widespread across Africa and Madagascar, including Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

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Spatule d'Afrique

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Platalea alba

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Platalea alba - MHNT

La Spatule d'Afrique (Platalea alba) ou Spatule africaine, est une espèce d'oiseau de la famille des Threskiornithidae.

Répartition

Cet oiseau vit en Afrique subsaharienne et à Madagascar.

Habitat

Elle vit dans les régions marécageuses aux eaux peu profondes et niche dans les arbres ou les roselières. Généralement, elle ne se mélange pas avec les cigognes ou les hérons.

Nidification

Elle pond deux à quatre œufs.

Description

Elle est facilement identifiable. Adulte, elle est entièrement blanche en dehors de ses pattes et de sa face qui sont rouges, et de son long bec en spatule gris. Elle n'a pas de huppe contrairement à la spatule blanche. Les jeunes ont le bec jaune.

À la différence des hérons, les spatules volent avec le cou en extension.

Alimentation

Elle se nourrit de poissons, de grenouilles et autres animaux aquatiques.

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Spatule d'Afrique: Brief Summary

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Platalea alba

 src= Platalea alba - MHNT

La Spatule d'Afrique (Platalea alba) ou Spatule africaine, est une espèce d'oiseau de la famille des Threskiornithidae.

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Description

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Length: 91 cm. Plumage: all white. Immature white with black tips to primaries and underwing coverts and black streaks on head. Bare parts: iris white, pale blue or light grey; facial skin red, olive yellow in immature; bill upper mandible grey with red edges, lower mandible black with yellow edges and spots, yellowish horn in immature; feet and legs pink or red in adult, blackish in immature. Habitat: coastal lagoons and estuaries inland waters.
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bibliographic citation
Brown, L.H., E.K. Urban & K. Newman. (1982). The Birds of Africa, Volume I. <em>Academic Press, London.</em>
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Lorna Depew [email]