[Bird calls] [Four roseate spoonbills forage in shallow water. Three snowy egrets are among them. The spoonbills walk through the water, probing it with their spoon-shaped bills. More egrets become visible, and one runs through the water.]

End of transcript

Among the many unique beaks in the bird world, few are stranger than the Roseate Spoonbill’s. Their large bill is rounded at the end, and the birds use it to probe along the bottom of muddy water, feeling for fish, amphibians, and other aquatic invertebrates to eat. The distinctively shaped bill allows spoonbills to strain small food items out of the water.

This video accompanies Chapter 8, Avian Food and Foraging, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by Benjamin M Clock, Macaulay Library