During the breeding season the Royal Spoonbill develops a lush crest of white feathers, up to 200 millimetres long, which sprouts from the back of its head. During mating displays this crest may be raised and spread, revealing a patch of salmon-pink coloured skin beneath. Both sexes develop these crests, but the females’ crests are often smaller. Royal Spoonbills usually nest in simple pairs among the noisy breeding colonies of other waterbirds, such as ibis and Yellow-billed Spoonbills, and various species of egrets and herons.
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