Family Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Least Concern

Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)


French: Spatule rosée German: Rosalöffler Spanish: Espátula rosada

Platalea Ajaja


, 1758,

“in America australi” = Rio São Francisco, eastern Brazil


Often placed in monospecific genus Ajaia. Monotypic.


Coastal SE USA and West Indies S through Mexico and Central America to W Ecuador and NW Peru and, E of Andes, S to NC Argentina (Buenos Aires).

Descriptive notes

68·5–86·5 cm; c. 1150–1400 g. Only pink spoonbill. Bill uniform or spotted black. During courtship, facial skin partly orange yellow. Immature has... read more


Usually silent away from roosting sites or breeding colonies. Calls include a rapid slightly... read more


Tidal ponds, sloughs, mangrove swamps and other coastal areas with salt or brackish water; less... read more

Food and feeding

Small fish (Zygonectes, Gambusia, Cyprinodon) and crustaceans, especially shrimps (Palaemonetes, ... read more


Main laying period Nov in Florida, Apr in Texas. In Mexico, active nests have been found between Jan and May at the Sian Ka’an... read more


Generally considered sedentary throughout most of range, though it is partially migratory in the N... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). It is uncommon to locally common throughout its extensive range, although normally occurring in lower numbers than other... read more

Recommended citation

Matheu, E., del Hoyo, J., Kirwan, G.M., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2019). Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 April 2019).