A non-breeding Royal Spoonbill.
The flight of birds is instructive as this Royal Spoonbill demonstrates when approaching to land. It has a low wing aspect ratio... which means the ratio of the wing span (tip to tip) to chord (front to back) is a low number. Wing design is very much dependent on the purpose of each species. Low aspect ratio wings provide low speed handling and flight stability but are higher in drag and that will result in slower speeds when flying and higher power requirement than birds with low aspect ratio wings such as albatross.
This low aspect ratio allows higher take-off weights, and therefore bigger birds and low landing speeds. This is a very suitable design for birds that mostly spend their time on the ground or to put it another way, not flying. Albatross which are also extremely large birds have high aspect ratio wings because they spend a lot of time in flight using minimum effort and as we know they take a considerable run across the ground along an into wind runway to get airborne to overcome their poor aerodynamics at low speeds.
Low aspect ratio wings also have large wing-tip vortices caused by the airflow moving from under the wing to the low pressure area on top. This is one of the major causes of drag. This can be reduced by upswept wing tips and you can see in the photograph how the spoonbill uses the primary feathers at the wing tips to achieve this.
Low aspect ratio wings can fly slower by being able to get a greater angle of attack (AoA). AoA is the angle between the wing and the direction of flight and high angles of attack provides a lot more lift. The object of course is to be able to land on a spot at zero ground speed... a running landing is much more likely to result in an injury... and to make a safe landing on places such as a branch where low speed control is important in making the final flight adjustments to land on the intended spot. The long legs are bent to help absorb the landing forces.
Safely feeding in the shallows at Bool Lagoon.
The spoonbill is never going to be a fast flyer over long distances. Having said that they are believed to be self introduced to NZ. It's design is suited to getting from place to place for feeding and breeding purposes but being able to take-off and land safely. It's always interesting to look a birds in flight and try to establish the relationship why they look like they do and what they do.