A long-legged wading bird akin to the heron, having a bill like a spoon. Its bill is wide and flattened at the tip, and it scoops up its prey. Like the heron it fishes, and like the duck it searches for worms in the mud. Its color in the first year is a dark chestnut, the second year it changes to red, and the third year to bright scarlet. The royal spoonbill of Australia is white, and the male has a crest.