Sacred ibis

‘Squawk’ like an Egyptian…

This striking black and white bird is instantly recognisable thanks to its long spindly legs and long curved beak.

They are known as the wading birds of the ibis family and can mainly be found in southern parts of Africa, south-eastern Iraq and formerly in Egypt.

In flight they’re just as recognisable as they always fly in a ‘V’ formation. There is a reason for this – it’s to reduce the effect of the wind on the other birds. When the one at the front becomes tired it drops to the back letting another take the lead.


Although listed as ‘least concern’ on the IUCN red list, the sacred ibis is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Sacred ibis questions and answers

What do sacred ibis eat?
Short answer…a lot! This includes small mammals, small birds, reptiles, fish, frogs and insects.

Where do they make their nest?
In trees. If available, they prefer a nice baobab tree.

Do they make a lot of noise?
Not really, they are generally quite quiet. When they do make a noise it’s more of a grunting or croaking sound.

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