Although structurally similar to the Ibises, the Spoon-bills are at once distinguished by the form of the bill, this being nearly straight, flattened, narrow in the middle, then expanded out into a broad, spoon-shaped extremity. The head is partially or entirely bare, and the nostrils longitudinal in grooves, which extend with more or less distinctness to the apex of the bill. The wings are large,reaching to about the end of the tail, which is short, even, and composed of twelve broad, rounded feathers. The plumage (except in Ajaja ajaja) is white throughout, often with a beautiful rosy or crimson tinge, and during the breeding season several of the species are ornamented with crests, or bunches of plumes on the breast or fore neck.
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