African Sacred Ibises

African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)


The African Sacred Ibises (Threskiornis aethiopicus) are wading birds found in sub-Saharan Africa and southeastern Iraq. Their former range also included Egypt, where they were often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth. Introduced flocks also exist in France, Italy, Spain, and the United States (southern Florida). They inhabit marshy wetlands and mud flats, both inland and on the coast. They may also visit cultivated lands and rubbish dumps.

A Pair Of African Sacred Ibises Searching For Food
A Pair Of African Sacred Ibises Searching For Food

African Sacred Ibis Breeding / Nesting

Sacred Ibises nest in tree colonies, often with other large wading birds such as herons.

Their large stick nests are typically placed in a baobab.

The typical clutch consists of 2 – 3 eggs.


African Sacred Ibis Diet / Feeding

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

They survive winters in temperate regions by feeding at rubbish dumps.


African Sacred Ibis Description

The adults measure, on average, 68 cm in length.

The plumage is mostly white, except for the blackish rump and black rear border on the wings that can be seen in flight.

The featherless head and neck, thick curved bill, and legs are black.

Males and females look alike.

Juveniles can be identified by their dirty white plumage, smaller bills, and, unlike the adults, they have some feathering on the neck.

African Sacred Ibises Perched On A Tree
African Sacred Ibises Perched On A Tree

African Sacred Ibis Calls / Vocalizations

Sacred Ibises are mostly silent, but occasionally some croaking sounds can be heard.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


Ibis Information and Listing of SpeciesIbis Species Photo Gallery


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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