Spoonbill, a wading bird that is closely related to the ibis. Spoonbills inhabit marshes, mudflats, and lagoons in coastal regions of the world. There are six species. The spoonbill ranges in length from 30 to 34 inches (76 to 86 cm). It has long, thin legs and a long neck. Its long bill has a broad, spoon-shaped tip. Most species are white with patches of other colors.

Spoonbills feed in shallow water. They dip their bills in the water and swing them from side to side, catching such food as crustaceans and small fish. Spoonbills congregate in flocks. After mating, the male and female build a bulky nest of sticks on the ground or in trees. The female lays three to five dull white eggs with brown blotches. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the young.

SpoonbillsSpoonbills dip their bills in the water and swing them from side to side to catch food.

The roseate spoonbill is found from Florida and Texas south to Mexico and South America. It has a pink chest and abdomen, pink wings, and a white neck and back. The naked head is greenish and the tail is orange. The eyes and legs are red, and there are red patches on the wings. In the early 20th century the bird was hunted to near extinction for its feathers, which were used to make fans. It is now protected by law.

Spoonbills belong to the family Threskiornithidae. The roseate spoonbill is Ajaia ajaja.