Southern Bald Ibis ( Geronticus calvus, family: Threskiornithidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Bald Ibis

southern bald ibis kruger national park birds The Southern Bald Ibis (Latin name Geronticus calvus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 92 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 610 also a picture of the Southern Bald Ibis on page 593. The Southern Bald Ibis belongs to the family of birds classified as Threskiornithidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Southern Bald Ibis is also known by these other names: Waldrapp, Hermit Ibis.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Southern Bald Ibis was called the Bald Ibis

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

Endemic species is one that is confined to a specific country or region. For example certain birds endemic to South Africa only exist in that country. One such example is the Southern Bald Ibis and this species depends upon a particular habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird will possibly be lost forever.

In terms of distribution of the Southern Bald Ibis in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Southern Bald Ibis has been recorded in only 1 sections of the arbitrary Kruger Park regions I selected.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Southern Bald Ibis is a large bird much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the Southern Bald Ibis is about 81 cms and its weight is about gms

You will find that the male Southern Bald Ibis plumage and colours are different to that of the female Southern Bald Ibis

  • Head is red.
  • Eye is orange.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is copper.
  • Legs are red.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Southern Bald Ibis feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Southern Bald Ibis is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Geronticus calvus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Southern Bald Ibis is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 1 to 3

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Southern Bald Ibis are: wetlands and riverine areas . Comments about the Southern Bald Ibis :the nest is rarely build on a branch but rather in inaccessible positions such as behind a waterfall.

You will normally see the Southern Bald Ibis in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Umcwangele

Zulu ... umXwagele/uNkondlo

Afrikaans ...Kalkoenibis

German ... Glattnackenrapp

Portuguese ... Ibis-calvo

French ... Ibis du Cap

Dutch ... Kaapse Ibis

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 92

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,