Spacer Spacer
I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Ibis

   

The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the Ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Namibia.

Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus

The African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) is a species of wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae, which 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. It has also been introduced into France, Italy, Spain, and the United States (S. Florida).

The bird nests in tree colonies, often with other large wading birds such as herons. It builds a stick nest often in a baobab and lays 2-3 eggs.

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. It feeds on various fish, frogs, small mammals, reptiles and smaller birds as well as insects.

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.

They compete successfully for nest sites with Cattle and Little Egrets. The adaptable Ibises supplement their diet by feeding at rubbish tips, which helps them to survive the winter in these temperate regions.

Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash


The Hadada or Hadeda Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash, is an ibis found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Hadeda is a large (about 76 cm long), dark brown ibis with a white "moustache", glossy greenish purple wings, a large black bill with a red stripe on the upper mandible, and blackish legs.

It has a distinctively loud and recognisable haa-haa-haa-de-dah call that is often heard when the birds are flying or are startled, hence the name.

The Hadada Ibis is found throughout open grasslands, savanna and wetlands of Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Gabon, Zaire, Cameroon, Gambia, Kenya, Somalia and South Africa. It can also be seen in urban parks and large gardens.

It feeds mainly on earthworms, using its long scimitar-like bill to probe soft soil. It also eats larger insects, such as the Parktown Prawn, as well as spiders and small lizards. These birds also favour snails and will feed in garden beds around residential homes.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae.

This is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Americas. It is thought to have originated in the Old World and spread naturally from Africa to northern South America in the 19th century. This species is migratory; most European birds winter in Africa, and in North America birds from north of the Carolinas winter farther south. Birds from other populations may disperse widely outside the breeding season.

The Glossy Ibis nests colonially in trees, often with herons. It is also gregarious when feeding in marshy wetlands; it preys on fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as occasionally on insects.

This species is 55–65 centimeters long with an 88–105 centimeters wingspan. Breeding adults have reddish-brown bodies and shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller bodies. This species has a brownish bill, dark facial skin bordered above and below in blue-gray (non-breeding) to cobalt blue (breeding), and red-brown legs. Unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched, their flight being graceful and often in V-formation.

Sounds made by this rather quiet ibis include a variety of croaks and grunts, including a hoarse grrrr made when breeding.

African Spoonbill Platalea alba

The African Spoonbill (Platalea alba) is a wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae. This species is a widespread resident across Africa and Madagascar.

The African Spoonbill occurs in marshy wetlands with some open shallow water, nesting in colonies in trees or reedbeds. It does not usually share colonies with storks or herons. Usually two to four eggs are laid.

The African Spoonbill is almost unmistakable through most of its range. The breeding bird is all white except for its red legs and face and long grey spatulate bill. It has no crest, unlike the Common Spoonbill. Immature birds lack the red face and have a yellow bill. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched.

This spoonbill feeds on various fish, molluscs and amphibians.

   
For more information you can visit our website at www.idreamafrica.com.na