African sacred ibis

Threskiornis aethiopicus

The African sacred ibis is a species of ibis. Its sister species is the Australian white ibis.
African Sacred Ibis  African Sacred Ibis,Geotagged,South Africa,Threskiornis aethiopicus

Appearance

An adult individual is 68 cm long with all-white body plumage apart from dark plumes on the rump. The bald head and neck, thick curved bill and legs are black. The white wings show a black rear border in flight. Sexes are similar, but juveniles have dirty white plumage, a smaller bill and some feathering on the neck.

This bird is usually silent, but occasionally makes some croaking noises, unlike its vocal relative, the hadada ibis.
African Sacred Ibis frontal closeup  African Sacred Ibis,BeekseBergen,Geotagged,The Netherlands,Threskiornis aethiopicus

Naming

The African sacred ibis has been introduced into France, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, and Bahrain. Some studies indicate that the growing introduced populations in southern Europe have significant economic and ecological impacts, while others suggest that they constitute no substantial threat to native European bird species. The adaptable ibises supplement their diet by feeding at rubbish tips, which helps them to survive the winter in these temperate regions.
Sacred Ibises at Momella lakes, Tanzania  Africa,African Sacred Ibis,Arusha,Arusha National Park,Tanzania,Threskiornis aethiopicus

Distribution

A wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae, the sacred ibis breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa, southeastern Iraq, and formerly in Egypt, where it was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth. The African sacred ibis occurs in marshy wetlands and mud flats, both inland and on the coast. It will also visit cultivation and rubbish dumps.
African Sacred Ibis Captured at the Beekse Bergen, the Netherlands. African Sacred Ibis,BeekseBergen,Geotagged,The Netherlands,Threskiornis aethiopicus

Status

The African sacred ibis is one of the species to which the ''Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds'' applies.
African Sacred Ibis in flight over Mommela Lakes, Arusha National Park  Africa,African Sacred Ibis,Arusha,Arusha National Park,Tanzania,Threskiornis aethiopicus

Habitat

A wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae, the sacred ibis breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa, southeastern Iraq, and formerly in Egypt, where it was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth. The African sacred ibis occurs in marshy wetlands and mud flats, both inland and on the coast. It will also visit cultivation and rubbish dumps.
sacred ibis  African sacred ibis,Geotagged,Kenya,Summer,Threskiornis aethiopicus

Reproduction

The bird nests in tree colonies, often with other large wading birds such as herons. It builds a stick nest, often in a baobab tree and lays two or three eggs.
African Sacred Ibis portrait  African Sacred Ibis,BeekseBergen,Geotagged,The Netherlands,Threskiornis aethiopicus,black and white

Food

It feeds on various fish, frogs, small mammals, reptiles and smaller birds as well as insects. It may also probe into the soil with its long bill for invertebrates such as earthworms.

References:

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