Spoonbill breeds in Norfolk Broads for first time in 400 years


Eurasian Spoonbill has bred in the Norfolk Broads for the first time in some 400 years.

A pair bred at Hickling Broad in Norfolk, a site described by Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) as a 'haven' for the species in recent years. NWT's Robert Smith said it had been a "privilege" to monitor the birds over the past few years.

Adult and juvenile Eurasian Spoonbills at Hickling Broad (John Tallowin / Norfolk Wildlife Trust).

"Now we can officially celebrate the return of a former lost breeding species to the Broadland landscape with the first fledged spoonbill here since the mid-17th century," he added.

"Watching the fledgling flying around the reserve and hearing its trilling begging call as it pesters its parents for food is a truly wonderful sight and sound. It shows that our work to enhance the habitats on our reserves, and across Norfolk, is hugely important to the survival of our wildlife, including visitors such as the spoonbill."

Despite having increased markedly in Britain during the last couple of decades, Eurasian Spoonbill remains a rare breeder, with fewer than 10 breeding sites thought to exist.