A close relative of the herons and flamingos, Spoonbills get their names from their beaks which resemble a Spoon or a Spatula.
A predominantly white plumaged bird, the Spoonbill’s long legs help it wade through marsh and slush, seeking out its favourite prey – fish, frogs and small reptiles.
Spoonbills are fairly wide spread all across the continents of Asia and South America. They are strong fliers and, rather surprisingly, given their size and weight, very capable at soaring.
The Aztec legend has it that the souls of the dead often reside in the spatula of the Rosette Spoonbills for a certain number of days before moving out to the netherworld. Spoonbill feathers were woven into fabrics of the Aztec kings. This dress consisted of a crown made of feathers of the roseate spoonbill, the gilt timbrel, the jacket was made of spoonbill feathers, and were believed to bestow magical powers.
Chamach Baz is the name given to these lovely creatures in the north of India (chamach being spoon in Hindi). They are found in abundance at Kabini, and are a treat for the eyes during boat safaris. They are occasionally found on the stretch of land just beyond the Library hut at the Orange County Resort at Kabini.