Project Description

(Threskiornis aethiopicus)

Native to Africa and the Middle East, Sacred Ibis are a species of wading bird of the family Threskiornithidae. They can be found in marshy wetlands on both the coastline and inland. They prefer to nest in trees or near water, as they hunt in flocks for wetland-type prey, such as insects, frogs, and small crustaceans. Formerly found in Egypt, Sacred Ibis were quickly introduced to Europe in the mid-1700s to be bred for free-flying exhibits in Zoos.

Sacred Ibis plumage coloration is predominantly white. Their long curved bill, head, and neck are black and featherless. Males are generally larger than females. These birds are usually silent, though occasionally make croaking sounds.

In Ancient Egypt, the Sacred Ibis were linked to the god Thoth. Thousands of mummified Sacred Ibis were placed in Egyptian temples as offerings to Thoth.

Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Africa and the Middle East

Weight: 3 - 3.3 lbs

Size: Up to 27 inches long with a wingspan of up to 49 inches

Lifespan: Up to 25 years in captivity

Diet: As predatory birds, Sacred Ibis hunt in flocks and feed on insects, worms, crustaceans, frogs, fish, reptiles, and some small mammals

Conservation Status: Least Concern

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