Down At The Lake – Part 3, Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca)

My trip down to the small local lake on Sunday morning resulted in a number of delightful bird photographs besides those of yesterday’s various ducks and Sunday’s beautiful Heron.

This time it’s the turn of the Australian White Ibis. 🙂 They are rather large and imposing birds standing some 60 – 70cm (2ft 6) tall with wingspans up to 1.5 m (5ft) and weighing, in the male’s case, well over 2 kg (4.5-5lb)
(Click on pics to open in a new window and again to expand for detail)
lovewillbringustogether - australian ibis4
One of two flocks of Ibis on the small lake.

lovewillbringustogether - australian ibis1Their long curved beaks are ideal for digging down for worms, beetles and grubs buried in the muddy soil of wetland areas and flood plains.

lovewillbringustogether - australian ibis3The white neck feathers on this bird indicate it is a juvenile bird which seems to be moulting or perhaps still growing a full set of pure white feathers as there were a couple of areas of bald skin showing as he displayed and preened. He doesn’t seem quite as clean as his companions despite the fact he seems to have recently had a bath! 🙂

lovewillbringustogether - australian ibis2Although predominantly blazing white with black tailfeathers, (featherless) head and neck, these Ibis have some reddish plumage underneath part of their wings, but not to the extent of their more famous cousins from Africa, the Sacred Ibis. (of Egyptian hieroglyphic fame!)

Until 1970 these birds were rarely found within our major metropolitan areas, however prolonged droughts in their natural breeding areas, associated with the early signs of the developing global climate change in Australia, resulted in many of these birds now being found and thriving in our large cities, with those in their natural habitat declining in number.

love.

5 comments

    • They are beautiful, but also a little wary of humans – they don’t let you get too close, so a good telephoto lens is essential for decent shots. The strong light contrast between body and head can make it even more tricky. 😦

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    • He was a real show-off too!

      ( I think it was all just fo’ da ladies! ) 😉

      It’s not the biggest bird we’ve got… just the biggest round these parts! And always entertaining and worth a look. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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