Hadada Ibis


ORDER: Ciconiiformes

FAMILY: Threskiornithidae

GENUS: Bostrychia

SPECIES: hagedash

DESCRIPTION:
Entire plumage is olive-gray, paler on the underparts, head and neck; metallic green wash on back and wing coverts. Males and females are similar in appearance. Thirty inches in length. A feature of spoonbills and ibises is a lack of face feathers. They also fly with necks extended rather than tucked.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Wooded streams in savanna country and open forest. Locally in Africa from Senegal and Gambia east to Ethiopia and s. Somalia, south to South Africa.

DIET:
Fish, insects, crustaceans, amphibians, carrion.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Most ibises are highly social and nesting sites may include thousands of birds, but the Hadada Ibis is an exception and nests in isolation-sometimes on telegraph poles instead of trees or bushes. Males display and eventually choose a mate. The pairs then engage in mutual bowing and display preening. Males usually gather nest materials, which they ritually offer to their mates. Both sexes incubate the three to six eggs and feed the altricial young. Nestlings feed on regurgitated food, which they get by inserting their bills down the parents' gullets.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
Long legs and long down-curved bills to probe the mud and search under water for slow moving animals. They feed by touch rather than sight.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
The Swahili name for ibis is "Kwarara". The Hadada's call is one of Africa's best known bird sounds, a loud far-carrying 'har, har, har" or "hadada' from whence comes the name.

OUR ANIMALS:

STATUS IN WILD:
On Appendix III of CITES which means it is listed as threatened by specific country and export permits are required for that country. Habitat destruction, especially wetland drainage, is the main threat.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Brooke, Michael & Birkhead, Tim. 1991. Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology. Cambridge University.
  2. Internet. 1999. http:/www.honoluluzoo.org/ibis.htm.
  3. Sibley & Monroe. 1990. Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, p.312.
  4. Williams, J.G. & Arlott, N. 1980. Collins Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa. Stephen Greene Press. Lexington, Mass., p. 31.

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