African Spoonbill ( Platalea alba, family: Threskiornithidae)

african spoonbill kruger national park birds The African Spoonbill (Latin name Platalea alba) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 95 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 612 also a picture of the African Spoonbill on page 593. The African Spoonbill belongs to the family of birds classified as Threskiornithidae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The African Spoonbill is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the African Spoonbill in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Spoonbill : see above distribution map.

The African Spoonbill.

African Spoonbill Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Spoonbill is a large bird much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the African Spoonbill is about 90 cms and its weight is about 1600 gms

You will find that the male African Spoonbill plumage and colours are different to that of the female African Spoonbill

  • Head is red.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is blue, grey.
  • Throat is yellow.
  • Back is white.
  • Legs are red.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Spoonbill feeds in or around water mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Spoonbill is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Platalea alba will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Spoonbill is to create the nest on water. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Spoonbill are: wetlands

You can see African Spoonbill in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iNkenkane/isiXulamasele

Afrikaans ...Lepelaar

German ... Afrikanischer Lffler

Portuguese ... Colhereiro-africano

French ... Spatule d'Afrique

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Lepelaar

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 95

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,