The Mystery of the Orange Spoonbill

An orange-colored Eurasian Spoonbill has been spotted on the Dutch Wadden Island of Texel. Eurasian Spoonbills are normally white.

The strangely-colored Spoonbill has been identified by Vogelbescherming, the Dutch partner of BirdLife International, but the reason for its coloring is a mystery. Shrimps, which cause the pinkish coloring in Roseate Spoonbills, Flamingos and other species, are also part of the diet of Eurasian Spoonbills in the Netherlands. However, the birds here normally do not eat the part of the shrimp which gives the coloring. Did this bird eat that part of some shrimp?

The orange Spoonbill was discovered during the height of the Netherlands’s football (soccer) frenzy as they advanced to the second round in the Euro 2008 championship. During this time people decorate their homes, gardens, cars and selves in orange, the national color (from the royal House of Orange). Another theory as to the orange coloring is that this individual bird came in contact with some orange substance – dye, powder, or makeup – and during regular preening managed to spread the coloring over the entire body. If this is the case, was the contact accidental, or did someone deliberately dye this bird Oranje?

Oranje lepelaar op Texel
Logboek at

Share the birds, share the love!
This entry was posted in Netherlands, Offbeat, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *