Black-faced Spoonbill

Platalea minor




Ibises and Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with chestnut speckles.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

30 - 34

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Nests are built on a sea cliff 70 to 120 feet above water.

Nest Material:

Sticks and reeds





Black-faced Spoonbill: Large, mostly white wading bird with wispy crest, black tips to wings, yellow spot in front of eye, and black face, front, and throat. Breeding birds have buff on breast and longer crest. Long, black bill with wide, spoon-shaped tip. Short, square-shaped tail. Legs and feet are black. Forages by swinging bill back and forth in shallow water to catch fish and small crustaceans.

Breeding and Nesting

Black-faced Spoonbill: Three white eggs with chestnut speckles are laid in a large platform nest made of sticks and reeds. The nest is constructed on a sea cliff anywhere from 70 to 120 feet above the water. Incubation is 26 days and is done by both sexes. More sticks are added to the nest when young are present to keep them from falling out.

Foraging and Feeding

Black-faced Spoonbill: Feeds on small fish, small crustaceans such as shrimp, and other small marine animals. This spoonbill species forages by rapidly moving its bill back and forth in shallow water to sense and capture prey items in muddy water. This species often feeds at dusk and dawn and depends on intertidal mudflats.


Black-faced Spoonbill: Species is generally silent, but emits a low, guttural "ubuu ubuu" in breeding season.

Similar Species

Black-faced Spoonbill: Unlikely to be confused with any other species in this range.

The upper front part of a bird.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X