AFRICAN SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus)
The African Sacred Ibis has a bald black head and neck, long black legs and white plumage, except for the base of the wings, which are black. The bill is long and downward curved, specialized for digging in the mud of wetlands in search of fish, insects or frogs. It can also dig into the soil to find worms.
The African sacred ibis draws its name ‘sacred’ from how the Ancient Egyptians were revering the bird. Mummies have been found of them, and they were thought to rid Egypt of ‘winged serpents’ when those were invading the country.
The African sacred ibis has a ‘sister species’, the Australian White Ibis.
The bird has been introduced to southern European countries and has well adapted to its new environment, for example by feeding on garbage (just like its Australian counterpart).