Threskiornis is a genus of ibises (wading birds) that occur in the warmer parts of the Old World in southern Asia, Australasia and sub-Saharan Africa.
They mostly inhabit shallow fresh and tidy marshy wetlands, tidal mud flats, swamps, lagoons, floodplains and open grasslands.
They are often observed in large flocks roosting in trees in or near water, bullrush beds or mangroves.
Ibises resemble herons and share many of their habitats and behavioral traits, but unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched and often in V-formation.
The adults average 75 cm in length. The plumage of most species is white, the exception being the Straw-necked Ibis, which has a dark back.
The bald head, neck and legs are black. The thick bill is down- curved.
Males and females look alike.
Juveniles have a duller plumage and whiter necks.
Species and Ranges:
- (African) Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
- Found in sub-Saharan Africa and southeastern Iraq
- Madagascar Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis bernieri
- Found in Madagascar and Seychelles
- Réunion Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis solitarius - extinct species
- Formerly occurred on the island of Réunion located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
- Black-headed Ibis, Threskiornis melanocephalus
- Breed in South Asia and Southeast Asia from Pakistan to India, Sri Lanka east up to Japan.
- Australian White Ibis, Threskiornis molucca
- Found across much of Australia.
- Straw-necked Ibis, Threskiornis spinicollis - Sometimes placed in the separate genus Carphibis (Jameson, 1835) as Carphibis spinicollis
Breeding / Nesting
Most breeding activities are observed after the rainy season, when plenty of food is available.
They typically nest in colonies, often with other water birds.
The nests are shallow cup-shaped platforms of sticks, grasses or reeds that are typically situated on trees near a body of water, such as rivers, swamps or lakes. Although some ibises also make their nest amongst rocks and on cliffs,
The average clutch consists of 2 – 4 eggs. The nests are often reused year-after-year.
Diet / Feeding
Ibises mostly feed in shallow waters on aquatic insects, mollusks, frogs, and food sifted from the water surface.
Their diet also includes insects caught on land, as well as lizards, worms, skinks, and other small reptiles.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.