Hybridization within the genus Platalea has only been reported in captivity. A case of natural hybridization between two female Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) and a male Eurasian Spoonbill (P. leucorodia) was studied on a small breeding islet in Incheon, South Korea. The male Eurasian Spoonbill formed a pair with each Black-faced Spoonbill female during the 2012–2013 and 2014–2015 breeding seasons, respectively, and laid 11 eggs in total, producing nine successful hybrid offspring. Two fledglings were color-banded in 2013, and one of them returned to its natal site in 2015 and 2016. The hybrids had intermediate morphology between Black-faced and Eurasian spoonbills: larger body size and longer bill and legs than those of Black-faced Spoonbills, narrow band of black bare skin on the lore to the eyes, a small yellow naked chin and no bared throat.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1