Australian White Ibis

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Threskiornis molucca

Description

Size 65-75cm.

Mainly white with bare black head and neck. Long downward curved black bill. Black lace-like feathers over the tail. Plumage often soiled. Black tips to wings noticeable in flight. Legs red/dark grey. During breeding: stiff pale yellow breast plumes and bare red skin underwing.

Feeding Habits

Feed on crickets, earthworms, insects, snails and frogs. Often seen probing in the soil or under water. They have become scavengers around people.

Breeding

Breed over water in established colonies which are used for several years. The male collects the branches and the female constructs a platform nest. Both birds share in incubating the eggs and care for the young.

Places to Look

Mangroves, fresh water, brackish and saline wetlands, beaches, parks, gardens and rubbish dumps. There is a breeding colony at South Townsville opposite the boat ramp.

Threats

Many breeding colonies have been lost as a result of clearing and filling of swamps.

References

NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville 2008
© Birdlife Townsville 2008
© Birdlife Townsville 2008

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