Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)

Black-headed Ibis in Ranthambore National Park

Black-headed Ibis in Ranthambore National Park

The Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus) is a large wader occurring in South and Southeast Asia (from Pakistan throughout the Indian subcontinent to Thailand, China, and occasionally even Japan or the Philippines). The birds live in marshy wetlands and feed mostly on fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects. In appearance, they closely resemble the African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) and the Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus). While they are still relatively common today, the populations are decreasing rapidly in some parts of their range due to egg collecting, hunting, pollution, and conversion of wetlands to agricultural land. I have seen these elegant birds during two journeys through India. My first encounter was in the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan (January 2010) and more recently I spotted a single individual in the Hamirsar Tank of Bhuj in Kachchh (January 2015).

Black-headed Ibis in Ranthambore National Park

Black-headed Ibis in Ranthambore National Park

Black-headed Ibis in Bhuj, Kachchh

Black-headed Ibis in Bhuj, Kachchh

how many species can you spot?

how many species can you spot?

 

5 responses to “Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)

  1. Great post. I would say at least 8 species in the last photo. But I can only identify two or three with the Stilt, Sandpiper, Redshank(?), and a couple of anatidae?

    • wow – very good! I am actually still not finished with identifying all of the birds, I photographed – and especially with all of those shore birds, it will be very difficult for me! On the photograph above, I can see:

      Black-headed Ibis
      Black-winged Stilt
      Northern Shoveler
      Indian Spot-billed Duck
      Knob-billed Duck
      Black-tailed Godwit
      Little Stint?
      Marsh Sandpiper?

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