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Black-faced Spoonbill (y\O)

Black-faced Spoonbill (y\O)
The Black-faced Spoonbill is a large white wading bird with a distinctively shaped beak - looking like a spoon, or a "pi pa", the Chinese musical instrument. The facial skin is bare and black in colour - hence its name. Towards the end of each wintering period, adults develop a distinctive golden yellow breeding plumage which is observed on their breast, neck and head with a plume. It is the smallest of six species of Spoonbill (Platalea) in the world with the male growing up to 81 cm and the female to 73 cm in height. Each wing is about 36 cm long and adult birds weigh about 1.6-2.2 kg.

Young birds of age less than 3 to 4 years can be distinguished by their brown smooth bill, unlike the adults all black bill with fine horizontal "wrinkled" strips. In flight, Black-faced Spoonbill fly with their neck fully outstretched unlike other large white waterbirds such as egrets. Also birds less than 6 or 7 years of age have black tips to their primary feathers which can be easily seen in flight.

The Black-faced Spoonbill is only found in East Asia and, with an estimated world population less than 2,000 individuals, is classified as an 'endangered' species.
Black-faced Spoonbill breeds between March and September only on small islands along the west coast between North and South Korea to Liaoning Province, China. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea where human access is restricted is the biggest and most successful breeding area.

In winter, Black-faced Spoonbill migrate southward to their wintering grounds. Confirmed wintering sites include: coastal areas in Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. Taiwan and the Pearl River Delta area (Mai Po Deep Bay, Futian Nature Reserve and Macau) are the main wintering sites of Black-faced Spoonbill; together they support over 60% of the wintering population.

With such as small global population, Black-faced Spoonbill is inherently vulnerable to extinction. Its survival is strongly dependant upon the continued preservation and security of their main breeding grounds, availability of unpolluted coastal wetlands abundant with food in their known wintering range, and avoidance of potentially deadly diseases or infections.

[Tide Information : From 0700 to 1100 is 0.5m to 1.4m]
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