Whole plumage white: a pendent crest of long subulate feathers on the occiput.
P. Leucorodia, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ft. p. 595. Spoonbill, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. II. App. p. 634. pl. 9. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 29. White Spoonbill, Mont. Orn. Diet, & Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 51. pl. 10. (Trachea,) Linn. Trans. vol. xvi. pl. 19.
Entire length thirty-one inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) seven inches three lines; breadth of the spoon one inch ten lines; length of the tarsus four inches eleven lines; of the naked part of the tibia two inches eight lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing fourteen inches six lines.
(Old male). The whole plumage pure white, with the exception of a large patch of buff yellow on the upper part of the breast, from whence a narrow band of the same colour ascends on each side towards the top of the back: lore, orbits, and naked space on the throat, orange-yellow: bill black; the tip ochre-yellow: irides red: legs black.
(Old female). Somewhat smaller; the occipital crest shorter; the buff-coloured patch on the breast not so distinct. (Young of the year). No occipital crest; the feathers on the head short and rounded: shafts of all the quills, and tips of the primaries, deep black; the rest of the plumage white: bill deep ash-colour, soft, and very flexible: irides cinereous: lore and orbits dingy white. " The patch of buff yellow on the breast does not shew itself till the second or third year." Temm. (Egg). White, spotted with pale reddish brown: long. diam. two inches nine lines; trans, diam. one inch nine lines.
A rare visitant in England. Pennant mentions a flock which migrated into the marshes near Yarmouth in Norfolk, in April 1774. Since then, specimens have been killed in Somersetshire, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Lincolnshire, and Suffolk. In the latter county, three were shot out of a flight of seven, which appeared at Thorpe, in the Autumn of 1828. Common in Holland, frequenting the banks of rivers near their junction with the sea. Food, small fish, mollusca, and aquatic insects. Builds in trees or amongst rushes. Eggs two or three in number.