At Seaview Wildlife Encounter we currently have four adult African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) in our collection – and we’re delighted to have expanded our flock with the recent hatching and successful fledging of two healthy chicks!
Sacred Ibis are a species of wading bird that breeds in sub-Saharan Africa and south eastern Iraq. They previously bred in Egypt where they were a symbol of one of the gods. This species of Ibis has been successfully introduced into the temperate climates of southern Europe as well as southern Florida in the United States.
Sacred Ibis prefer nesting in baobab tree colonies but here at the Park they’ve built their nest on a mound of dried mud, crowned with sticks. The female usually lays and incubates 2-3 eggs. In the wild they’re often found with other large wading birds such as Herons and Egrets; here at the Park they co-habit with our Lesser Flamingos who naturally occur in similarly marshy wetlands and mud flats.
Sacred Ibis are large predators measuring approximately 65 – 70cm in length; they have large, thick curved bills. Usually silent, the Sacred Ibis occasionally make croaking noises (especially the youngsters when they’re hungry!). In the wild their diet comprises of fish, amphibians, reptiles, smaller birds and insects. At the Park they enjoy fish, chicken and a balanced pellet produced specifically for waders.