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21 He aha tērā? Royal Spoonbill

Two large white birds wading in shallow water.
Miraz Jordan

You’ll see these large elegant all-white birds sweeping their long black bills with rounded ends through the water in the estuary or the lakes. The crest on the top of their head gives them a regal appearance. He aha tērā? What is that?

Two large white birds and two small black and white birds wading by the beach.

Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Answer: it’s a kōtuku ngutupapa, royal spoonbill::

Identification: Length: 74 - 81 cm; Weight: 1.4 - 2.0 kg

Similar species: Yellow-billed spoonbill, White heron

A large white heron-like bird with long black legs and a large black spoon-shaped bill. In breeding plumage it has long white crest feathers on the nape.

This item was updated on Wednesday 23 March 2022

I live at Waikawa Beach and love all the wildlife, fauna and flora.