May 24 Black-faced spoonbill feeding

 The black-faced spoonbill, and all other species of spoonbill, feed by sweeping their open bill from side to side. When prey such as a fish, crustacean, or insect enter, the very sensitive bill snaps shut, and the water is pressed out through small projections on the sides of the bill, similar to how baleen functions in whales.


A whimbrel, or chushakushigi in Japanese, was also feeding at the estuary this day. They use their long bill to probe for crabs, shrimp, and other creatures. When they catch a crab, they will shake off the legs, one by one, and then swallow the body whole. Then they eat each leg. Nothing is wasted.


One thought on “May 24 Black-faced spoonbill feeding”

  1. That’s where the phrase ‘shake a leg and I’ll spoon with you’ came from.

    Nah nah.

    I seen spoonbills on TV doing just that- pretty interesting method.


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