Bird Families

The rebirth of wild ibises (part one)


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Wetlands are the main foraging grounds for red-footed ibises. It is believed that due to anthropogenic impact, birds have moved from densely populated wetlands to mountainous areas. The preferences of the habitat of the species change depending on the season. During breeding, ibises forage and live in their usual territories. But after that, the birds look for food in large flocks at a distance of up to 20 km from the mating sites.


The red-footed ibis once lived throughout eastern Asia, from central China to northern Japan, and from southeastern Siberia to Taiwan. Today, the species' range is limited to China.

Notes (edit)

  1. Red Data Book of the USSR: Rare and Endangered Species of Animals and Plants. Volume 1 / Main ed. Collegium: A. M. Borodin, A. G. Bannikov, V. E. Sokolov and others - 2nd ed. - M .: Lesnaya promyshlennost, 1984 .-- P. 107 .-- 392 p.
  2. 12Boehme R.L., Flint V.E.
    A five-language dictionary of animal names. Birds. Latin, Russian, English, German, French / Under total. ed. acad. V.E.Sokolova. - M .: Rus. lang., "RUSSO", 1994. - P. 28. - 2030 copies. - ISBN 5-200-00643-0.

Reproduction and offspring

The mating season for ibis occurs once a year. For northern species, this period occurs in spring; for southern sedentary species, reproduction is timed to the rainy season. Ibis, like storks, find themselves one pair for life.

These birds are excellent parents, and the female and the male are equally caring for the offspring. So there is one more application for jointly built nests, where birds spent "siesta" and spending the night: 2-5 eggs are laid in them. Their father and mother hatch in turn, while the other half gets food. Nests are located close to other bird houses - for greater safety.

After 3 weeks, the chicks hatch: they are not very cute at first, gray or brown. Both the female and the male feed them. Young ibises will become handsome only in the second year of life, after the first molt, and after another year, a period of maturity will come, which will allow them to have a pair of themselves and provide their first clutch.

What does the sacred ibis eat?

Photo: Sacred ibis in flight

Sacred ibises feed mainly in flocks throughout the day, making their way through shallow wetlands. From time to time, they can feed on land near water. They can fly 10 km to the feeding site.

Basically, sacred ibises feed on insects, arachnids, annelids, crustaceans and molluscs. They also eat frogs, reptiles, fish, young birds, eggs, and carrion. In more cultivated areas, they are known to eat human trash. This is seen in France, where they become invasive pest species.

Sacred ibises are opportunistic when it comes to food choices. They prefer invertebrates (eg, insects, molluscs, crayfish) when foraging in grasslands and marshes, but they also eat larger prey when available, including fish, amphibians, eggs, and young birds. Some individuals may specialize as predators in seabird colonies.

Where does the sacred ibis live?

Photo: Bird sacred ibis

Sacred ibises live in a wide variety of habitats, although they are usually found in close proximity to rivers, streams and coastlines. Their natural range ranges from subtropical to tropical, but they are found in more temperate areas, where they are represented. Sacred ibises often nest on rocky sea islands and have adapted to life in cities and villages.

Fun fact: Ibis are an ancient species with 60 million years of fossil record.

The sacred ibis is commonly found in zoological parks around the world, in some cases birds are allowed to fly freely, they can go outside the zoo and make up a wild population.

The first wild populations were observed in the 1970s in eastern Spain and in the 1990s in western France, most recently in southern France, northern Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the eastern United States. In France, these populations quickly became numerous (over 5,000 birds in western France) and spread over several thousand kilometers, creating new colonies.

Although the impacts of wild ibis populations have not been analyzed in all introduced areas, studies in western and southern France indicate predatory effects of this bird (especially the destruction of terns, herons, their chicks and capture of amphibians). Other impacts are observed, such as destruction of vegetation at breeding sites, or suspicion, for example, of the spread of diseases - ibises often visit landfills and slurry pits to catch insect larvae and then may move to pastures or poultry farms.

Now you know where the African sacred ibis is found. Let's see what he eats.