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African Spoonbill

African Spoonbill
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-11-16 0:45
Viewed: 2296
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A photo from my archive taken out of a small boat.

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.

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, molluscs, amphibians, crustaceans, insects[ and larvae. 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. Long legs and thin, pointed toes enable it to walk easily through varying depths of water.

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.

The African Spoonbill begins breeding in the winter, which lasts until spring. The spoonbill's nest, generally located in trees above water, is built from sticks and reeds and lined with leaves. Three to five eggs are laid by the female birds, usually during the months of April or May. 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. The birds are ready to leave the nest soon afterward, and begin flying after another four weeks.

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

Source: Wikipedia

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2014-11-16 0:56]

Hello Peter,
excellent capture species,regards..

Ciao Peter, my today neighbour, great capture of lovely bird in fantastic fly, perfect focus, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

hallo Peter
Mooie opname en goed van scherpte
licht van onderen is erg goed en de kleuren Super!
bedankt weer
gr lou

Hello Peter,
I've seen this species in Moçambique, by the THOUSANDS. They are not pretty at all; however, via your work you make them BEAUTIFUL!!!
Lovely notes.
Kind regards from COLD COLD & snow covered Calgary,
P.S. Like I've said "... am not going to post any more work until my name becomes "UNBLOCKED" for this site."
Asbed is mad about what has happened to him plus 16 others ... why have we been BLOCKED? I get in via the back door!!!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2014-11-16 12:54]

Hi Peter,great timing and perfect exposure to take so well this spoonbill in flight,not easy in this diagonal light, i like a lot the transparencies of the wing,very well done.Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano

All the power of flight! Amazing light and good details.


  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2014-11-19 5:05]

Hi Peter,

Splendid action shot and the détails of the wings are very Good, the sharpness and the light are perfect for the presentation . Very good note too, great job.
My best regards.
John vantighem

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2014-11-22 5:48]

Hallo Peter,
Nicely composed in-flight shot ..
Beautiful photo with natural colours and good sharpness.
Have a nice weekend,

WONDERFUL capture of this spoonbill in the flight.

Hi Peter,
a good flight shot of this special spoonbill. special because of the red feet and face!
have a nice day

Hello Peter - I missed this picture. To me it always very tough to capture a flying bird. Quite well captured this Spoonbill. Well sharpness and good light in its under wings. Thanks for sharing. Regards and have a nice day - Srikumar

Hello Peter

The ascending flight pose of this African Spoonbill
it gives dynamism to the image, with excellent
focus, sharpness, and details, TFS


Hi Peter,
Nice in-flight capture. Probably a touch overexposed - but the composition's quite spectacular with its simplicity. Fantastic lights and contrast and on the closer wing, perfect exposure. Good shot overall, congrats!
Best regards, László

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