Sacred Ibis

Threskiornis aethiopicus

A wading bird of the ibis family, 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.

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.

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 23 eggs.