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?
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.