Daily Archive for March 2nd, 2015

Bird of the Month – The Spoonbill

The Spoonbill – Il-Paletta

In Maltese this bird is called Paletta. This bird is almost unmistakable. It is all white except for its dark legs, black bill with a yellow tip, and a yellow breast patch just like a pelican. It has a crest during the breeding season. The Spoonbills, as their name suggests, have large, flat bills that look like spoons.  They feed by wading through shallow water, sweeping the partly-opened bill from side to side. The moment any small water creature, such as an insect or a tiny fish, touches the inside of the bill, it is snapped shut. The Eurasian Spoonbill is seen in muddy and  watery areas with some open shallow water, nesting in colonies on trees or in reedbeds. Spoonbills are rare birds and they can be seen in small numbers between March and May. Sometimes they also visit us in September or October. The most common areas are the Ghadira and the Simar Nature Reserves.