Family Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)


French: Spatule à bec jaune German: Gelbschnabellöffler Spanish: Espátula piquigualda

Platalea flavipes


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia


Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Platibis. Monotypic.


Australia (except arid interior).

Descriptive notes

76–100 cm; 1814–1928 g. Bill colour variable, from uniformly buffish to conspicuously spotted black on distal part. Male larger, with longer bill and legs. Non... read more


Usually silent away from breeding colonies. Calls include a croaking grunt "krroh..krroh...".... read more


Inland wetlands with fresh or brackish water, including shallow swamps, flooded pastures,... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly aquatic insects, especially back swimmers; also crayfish, shrimps, fish and occasionally molluscs and plant matter. Usually forages... read more


Breeding is reported during Sept–January in the south and March–May in the north. The timing of breeding varies markedly,... read more


Birds disperse widely after breeding from their stronghold in southeastern Australia, to areas... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). The global population is thought to be within the range of 10,000–25,000 birds. Uncommon to locally common in suitable wetlands... read more

Recommended citation

Matheu, E., del Hoyo, J., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2020). Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes). 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 30 March 2020).