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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Glossy Ibis

Afrikaans name: Glansibis

Glossy Ibis are often seen at the water's edge

Glossy Ibis at Bronkhorstspruit Dam

Photo © Steven Herbert

Plegadis falcinellus

The Glossy Ibis is normally found patrolling along the edge of a dam, pan, river, flooded grassland or other water source, where it uses its long bill to probe in the mud for food. They will eat any prey that they find including insects, molluscs, small fish and leeches. They are often seen in the company of Egrets or other Ibises.

The Glossy Ibis has a wide distribution being found in sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia and Australia. When not breeding they are quite nomadic and undertake migrations in some areas.

They breed in trees near water, making a nest out of twigs and other vegetation. Normally 3 or 4 eggs are laid, with male and female sharing the incubation duty. Amazingly the chicks are able to leave the nest after a week or so from hatching, although the parents continue to feed them.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 46

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 166

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 166

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 31

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 27

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 10

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 38

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 62

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 84

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 84

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 31

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 51

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 55

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 73

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 74

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 70

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 58

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 109

The Rare Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P.A. Clancey - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 75

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 109

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 40

List of South African Birds

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