Bird of the week – Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca

The Australian White Ibis is a water bird. It is usually seen walking on damp or wet ground looking for food. Its call is a croak.

What the Australian White Ibis looks like

The Australian White Ibis is 69-76 cm in length. It has a white body and a black head and neck. It has black tips and black plumes on the edges of its wings. In the breeding season, the naked stripe on each underwing darkens to red. The Australian White Ibis has a black down-curved beak, brown eyes, pink legs and purple-brown feet.

Where the Australian White Ibis lives

The Australian White Ibis lives in northern and eastern Australia. It also lives in Africa, southern Asia and New Zealand. It is found in swamps, wet pastures, wet grasslands and parks.

What the Australian White Ibis eats

The Australian White Ibis eats crayfish, mussels, insects, fishes, snails and frogs. It probes for food with its beak.

How the Australian White Ibis breeds

Australian White Ibises form pairs during the breeding season and nests in large colonies.

The adults breed from spring to autumn. The male perches on a branch and bows to attract a female. He offers her a twig and they preen each other. They mate.

The female lays two to five eggs on a platform of sticks on low plants. Both parents sit on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after three to three and a half weeks. Both parents feed them.

The chicks fly after about four weeks. They are fed by their parents for a few weeks after leaving the nest. They grow into breeding adults.

 Flying birds

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