Wednesday, October 15, 2014

African Spoonbill

Every week when I post birds we see on our outing, I generally post the birds in various poses or actions. It's been a long time since I've actually posted about one specific bird and given a description. 

Below is quite common resident in East to South Africa with a thin line running across the map towards West Africa. 

Recently we've seen two African Spoonbill in the New Alhamasi Dam. On Sunday I only saw one and photographed it.

African Spoonbill (although there is an African Jacana in the background, this post is not about it!)

The African Spoonbill is a large waterbird with a distinctive, long, flattened, spoon-shaped bill. It flies with its neck stretched out (unlike herons and egrets who tuck their necks in while flying). It feeds by sweeping its bill from side to side.  

The African Spoonbill has a grey bill with a red border and base. It has a bare red face and red legs. Its habitat is lakes, flood plains and estuaries. It voice is a low "kaark", at breeding colonies it emits various grunts and claps its bill. 
  African Spoonbill with its diagnostic spoon-shaped bill!

I'm linking my post today to Stewart Monckton's interesting blog, Wild Bird Wednesday which you can access by clicking here.

Yesterday I made the mistake of doing my puppy update during the day. My internet was horrifically slow at that time and I took ages to upload photos. So I hope you bird lovers will forgive me for adding my post about our pups, day 28 here.

Today is four weeks, since the pups were born. I still remember that early morning drama of helping Princess deliver seven pups in a small hut, two askaris shining torches, passing the scissors, giving me Dettol soaked cleaning cloth. It was also the morning that I felt a mosquito biting me, and caused this debilitating disease to attack me now. (I've completed the injections and hope to be well again soon!)

When the pups hit the three week mark, it was as if their growth, mentality, personalities and cuteness took on a new level. They're now eating two meals of uggi/oats porridge a day and spending all day outside their hut, in their enclosure, playing, discovering things (like they can bark!) and sleeping. 
Joshua who adores the pups, helps to wipe their faces and feet after their breakfast!
Joshua cuddles a pup while cleaning its face and feet (this is not a normal phenomena in Africa- I'll do a post later to explain)
Princess insists on entering the enclosure (the gate is locked and we open it for her) and then she looks all "hang-dog" when the pups suckle!
As always, they huddle together to sleep
As always, one pup provides amusement by the funny way it lies

I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday.



  1. just precious pups. neat spoonbill, too!

  2. Brings me back to watching the Spoonbills at Sunset Dam, Kruger.

    Seems at least one of the adorable pups may find a home with Joshua.

  3. They start barking now ? What a concert in a few weeks, lol !
    Why does Princess has to stay outside ? Is there a reason ?

  4. HI Jo

    i saw both these birds while in Africa bt did not get very good shot as they were always a distance away so lovely to see your shots up close. Pups are really becoming much more mobile adn vocal. will they be placed in home in 2 weeks/ thanks for email an I will be responding later.

  5. i never stop smiling when i see the pups but today my biggest smile was Joshua's smile. what a beautiful smile he has... your spoon bill looks exactly like ours but ours are bright pink in color not white.

  6. I love their long funny legs....

  7. Hello JO, I love the Spoonbill. Great shot. And the puppies are adorable.. I can see they have grown so much! I love them all. I hope you are feeling better. Enjoy the rest of your week.

  8. Hello Jo, I think my comment got lost in space.. I love your White Spoonbill, they are cool birds. And I always enjoy seeing your puppy updates.. They are so cute.. Adorable photos. I hope you are feeling better. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. Great spoonbill and I just love the puppies!

  10. Wonderful photos! Those puppies are adorable!!!


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