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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Image ID 45218)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Wed 24th Feb, 2021 and uploaded on Sun 7th Mar, 2021 .
Resolution927x1400
Viewed101
ID45218
CommentIf you can’t see it, feel for it. Some waders have their own way of going about things. Most waders seem to have sharp pointy beaks. Stilts have their rapiers, Ibis their scimitars. Pelicans do, admittedly, have a big pouch that is part of their equipment but their slightly hooked beak is still pointy when closed. Over the eons of its evolution, the Yellow-Billed Spoonbill has thought of a different solution: a spoon for a bill, equipped with a very sensitive tip, all the better for dipping and casting around in murky wetland “soups” for small invertebrates, and swallowing them up as soon as they are sensed. And what could be murkier and more full of little soft invertebrates than the Treatment Plant’s nutrient-rich waters. So it stirs its spoon from side to side as it wades through the Werribee wetland soup, and finds it very tasty indeed. This shows one such Yellow-Billed Spoonbill stretching its wings. As the lacy black filaments in its lower back reveal, this one is wearing its breeding plumage.
EquipmentNikonZ7ii Nikon 300mm f4 PF TC1.4 420mm ISO 1250 1/6400th f8
LocationWerribee Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria
Keywordsadult, breeding plumage/features
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