African Sacred Ibis ( Threskiornis aethiopicus, family: Threskiornithidae)

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

african sacred ibis kruger national park birds The African Sacred Ibis (Latin name Threskiornis aethiopicus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 91 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 611 also a picture of the African Sacred Ibis on page 593. The African Sacred Ibis belongs to the family of birds classified as Threskiornithidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Sacred Ibis is also known by these other names: Sand Ibis.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Sacred Ibis was called the Sacred 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

The African Sacred Ibis is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the African Sacred Ibis in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Sacred Ibis : see above distribution map.

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 African Sacred Ibis is a large bird much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the African Sacred Ibis is about 89 cms and its weight is about 1250 gms

You will find that the male African Sacred Ibis plumage and colours are different to that of the female African Sacred Ibis

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is black.
  • Back is white.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Sacred Ibis feeds on the ground and in or close to water mainly


General scavenger habits

Smaller animals


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Sacred Ibis is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Threskiornis aethiopicus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Sacred Ibis is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Sacred Ibis are: wetlands and riverine areas

You will normally see the African Sacred Ibis in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... umXwagele

Afrikaans ...Skoorsteenver

German ... Heiliger Ibis

Portuguese ... Ibis-sagrado

French ... Ibis sacr

Dutch ... Heilige Ibis

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 91

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 ,