The Eurasian spoonbill and the squacco heron – these are two rare species of birds noticed recently by ornithologists in the Upper Vistula Valley. Both species come to Poland very rarely.
The ponds in the Upper Vistula Valley have long been very interesting for ornithologists and bird lovers. They are an attractive place for both breeding and migratory birds.
The spoonbill was noticed by ornithologists from the Upper Silesian Ornithological Society in the Adolfin ponds near Oswiecim. The heron has been observed in the Przyręb ponds near Zator.
Both species search for food by wading in shallow water and hunting small aquatic animals. They regularly occur in warmer climates, and the closest breeding grounds are on the Danube and in southern Bohemia and Slovakia – several hundred kilometers south of the Upper Vistula Valley.
The Eurasian spoonbill reaches 80-90 cm in length, up to 2 kg of body weight. It has white feathers and a characteristic spoon-shaped beak (hence its English name spoonbill).
The squacco heron is much smaller, its habit resembles a night heron, but it has a different plumage – it has a light brown back, white wings and a tail. It owes its name to the coloring of the beak.