The first time I saw an Ibis in my city was at Lodhi Garden in January, so when I saw them from my balcony it did not take me much time to recognize them. Their distinct beak style is a give away.
I have seen all the three species of Ibis found in India (as I understand) while bird watching from my balcony. They are:
1. the Black Headed Ibis or Oriental White Ibis | Threskiornis Melanocephalus (Genus Threskiornis)
2. the Red Naped Ibis or Indian Black Ibis | Pseudibis Papillosa (Genus Pseudibis)
3. the Glossy Ibis | Plegadis Falcinellus (Genus Plegadis)
Glossy Ibises look plain dark if seen from a distance. A closer look in good light will show off their actual glossy shades of colors; deep maroon, emerald, bronze and violet.
You will often see the Ibises fly with their necks fully stretched and in a characteristic V-formation.Tweet
Trivia: “…… A new study of Ibises finds that these big-winged birds carefully position their wingtips and sync their flapping, presumably to catch the preceding bird’s updraft—and save energy during flight. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of it, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. But flying in a V isn’t just about staying in the right place. It’s also about flapping at the right time. There are two reasons birds might fly in a V formation: It may make flight easier or they’re simply following the leader. Scientists do not know how the birds find that aerodynamic sweet spot, but they suspect that the animals align themselves either by sight or by sensing air currents through their feathers. Alternatively, they may move around until they find the location with the least resistance. Every Ibis in the wedge gets a chance to lead the group from the tip of the V. The change is done timely and without disturbing the formation.……”
The Red Naped Ibis has a dark colored body with bluish-green sheen. The crown and nape are covered in bright red warts. A white patch is usually visible near the shoulder of the wing. The beak is long and curved downwards.
The first time I saw a Red-Naped or lets say an Ibis was nearly a decade back and believe you me, I had no memory of it until some days back. It was at the Pataudi Palace. Sharing a picture of it below.
The Black Headed Ibis is a large wader (bigger than the other two Ibises mentioned in this post) with a white body and black head and neck. They too have a long, down curved beak.
The Ibises are wading birds with long legs & a distinct long curved beak. The beak helps them dig around in the mud for food (insects, worms etc). Watch this short clip of a Red Naped digging out something to eat.
Here are a couple of shots that are not clicked from the balcony but somewhere within Delhi.
Some more from the balcony.
I was clicking the ‘tunnel of infinite hope‘ in the cloud when this Ibis just flew into the frame at a perfect time.
A little trivia on Ibis: “……The ancient Egyptians revered Ibis. The inhabitants of Egypt invariably depicted the God of wisdom and justice Jehuti (Thoth) with the head of an Ibis. Archaeologists have found the mummified remains of Ibis in the temple of Thoth, as well as numerous images of birds on the walls. Today in Egypt, Ibises are extremely rare…..”
Trying to identify the species from silhouette? Here’s a tip: In flight, the legs of Red Naped Ibis don’t extend beyond the tail, unlike in Glossy Ibis.Tweet
Some interesting facts that I came to know about these birds:
* In the legend of Noah’s ark, the Ibis bird is mentioned, which, after the flood, led Noah to the upper Euphrates, where Noah settled with his family.
* The oldest Ibis is 60 million years old.
* The burning-red color of the plumage in Red Ibises is explained by the fact that the carapace of crayfish eaten by birds contains the coloring pigment carotene.
* The red-footed or Japanese Ibis is the rarest bird species on earth. The population is 8-11 birds
—- Sourced from Google
Update as on Oct 20, 2020: I am happy to see frequent visits by the Black Headed Ibises and of late Red Naped Ibises. Their proximity & time of visit is giving me good opportunity to click them in good light. The one just above is just one of the photos of the Black-Headed.
I believe I can fly; I believe I can touch the sky
Spread my wings and fly away;
I think about it every night and day
I believe I can soar
Do watch out for the next post on another species from my #BalconyBirding list
Posts shared so far on:
1. Rosy Starlings
2. Alexandrine Parakeet
3. Rose-Ringed Parakeet
4. Plum Headed Parakeet
5. Indian Spot-Billed Duck
6. Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon
7. Black-Winged Stilt
8. Indian Peafowl
9. Indian Purple Sunbird
10. Green Bee-Eater
11. Indian Silverbill
12. Black-Headed Ibis
13. Red-Naped Ibis
14. Glossy Ibis
….and, if you like what you see or read, do ‘like it’ & ‘share it’. Non WordPress users please ‘rate’ it to express your appreciation. Also do not forget to ‘follow the blog’ to remain updated about newer posts.
The Soul Is Here For It’s Own Joy!
Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe