noun \ˈspün-ˌbil\

Definition of SPOONBILL

:  any of several wading birds (family Threskiornithidae) related to the ibises that have an expanded bill that is flattened and rounded at the tip
:  any of several broad-billed ducks (as the shoveler)

First Known Use of SPOONBILL

circa 1678


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of six species (family Threskiornithidae) of long-necked, long-legged wading birds, inhabitants of Old and New World estuaries, saltwater bayous, and lakes. They are 24–32 in. (60–80 cm) long and have a short tail and a long, straight bill that is spatulate at the tip. Most species are white, sometimes rose-tinged; the roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) of North and South America is deep pink and strikingly beautiful. With a side-to-side motion of the bill, they sweep mud and shallow water for fishes and crustaceans. They fly with neck and legs extended and wings flapping steadily. Breeding colonies build stick nests in low bushes and trees. Some species, including the black-billed spoonbill, are endangered. See also ibis.


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