Southern bald ibis

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Southern bald ibis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes (disputed)
Family: Threskiornithidae
Subfamily: Threskionithinae
Genus: Geronticus
Species: G. calvus
Binomial name
Geronticus calvus
(Boddaert, 1783)

The southern bald ibis (Geronticus calvus) is a large bird found in open grassland or semi-desert in the mountains of southern Africa.

This large, glossy, blue-black ibis has an unfeathered red face and head, and a long, decurved red bill. It breeds colonially on and amongst rocks and on cliffs, laying two or three eggs which are incubated for 21 days before hatching. It feeds on insects, small reptiles, rodents and small birds.

The ibises are gregarious long-legged wading birds with long down-curved bills; they form one subfamily of the Threskiornithidae, the other subfamily being the spoonbills.[2] The two Geronticus species differ from other ibises in that they have unfeathered faces and heads, breed on cliffs rather than in trees, and prefer arid habitats to the wetlands used by their relatives.[3][4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Geronticus calvus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ del Hoyo et al. (1992) p.472 "Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)"
  3. ^ Snow (1998) pp.146–147
  4. ^ Sinclair (2002) p.74
  • del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J., eds. (1992). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-09-1. 
  • Sinclair, Ian; Hockey, Phil; Tarboton, Warwick (2002). SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik. ISBN 1-86872-721-1. 
  • Snow, David; Perrins, Christopher M., eds. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic concise edition (2 volumes). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854099-X. 


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