The Eurasian spoonbill (Platarea leucorodia) is part of the shelduck family and it was named after its wide and flattened at its ends bill.
It is a large scale bird. Its plumage is completely white. Adult specimens have an orange ring around their necks and the young specimens have black wing tops.
They migrate in a fan shape flock and they do not follow the north-south path like most species. They come to Romania in April and they leave for winter in October.
It is a shore bird, which needs shallow waters and which swims only in extreme situations.
During feeding, the Eurasian spoonbill stirs, in a circular manner, in the mud from shallow waters. It feeds itself with small sized aquatic animals.
It nests in specific or mixed colonies. Their nests are found both directly on the ground, in the lagoon areas and in trees, in the inland areas of the Delta.
When it builds its nest on the ground, this bird prefers fallen reed and when it builds its nest in trees it prefers grey willows or willow bushes.
In the Danube's Delta there is a population of 600 pairs. However, the exact number of nests is unknown, due to the fact that the spoonbill nests in mixed colonies, which are sometimes unreachable.
One pair will lay 3 or 4 eggs during one pairing season. The eggs are incubated by both parents. The chicks are able to fly after 2 or 3 weeks.
Uncontrolled reed arsons and the narrowing of feeding areas can endanger on a long term this species.