African Sacred Ibis
The ibis has been in Ancient Egyptian history for many years. Its symbol was associated with the god and patron of writing, as well as magic and wisdom. To this day, the ibis is a form of good luck in their culture. The African Sacred Ibis is a very elegant species of ibis with their black and white contrasting plumage. They are for the serious hobbyist and perfect for the aviary.
Description: The African Sacred Ibis is an all-white bird other than its neck and head area where it is black, as well as its tail plumes. They have a long and curved bill to fish in the marshes and shores for their food. This species of wading waterfowl is 2 feet and 6 inches long. They have long legs in order to stand in shallow water and partially webbed feet. The African Sacred Ibis is mostly silent. They do make an occasional croaking noise.
Range: This species is located in Africa, south of Madagascar and the Sahara
Habitat: The African Sacred Ibis habituate around marshes and shores.
Status in the Wild: The population in the wild is decreasing due to hunting and disturbances by temporary workers in some areas.
Status in Aviculture: Least Concerned
Breeding and Incubation: The African Sacred Ibis breeds in flocks. They lay a clutch of 3-5 eggs and the incubation takes 28-29 days. Both parents take a role in raising the chicks. The chicks leave the nest at 39-45 days of age. The birds mature at 4-5 years of age.
Lifespan: 20 years
Mature Weight: 3.0 pounds
Housing Requirements: Due to it being an exotic bird that can fly, it is recommended to house your African Sacred Ibis in a closed-in housing situation. Many house their ibis in an aviary setting, surrounded by freshwater running in a kiddie pool or built-in pond. Make sure the water can be cleaned out easily to avoid ailments that the bird is susceptible to, such as Avian botulism. Trees and shrubs can be added to make the aviary more natural for the bird.
Diet: In the wild, this species feasts on grasshoppers, locusts, and beetles. Their diet also consists of mollusks, shellfish, fish, small mammals, crickets, and crustaceans. This can be provided to your African Sacred Ibis in addition to a commercial diet that is offered to exotic waterfowl which is 22% protein for young birds and then a maintenance that is 18-20% protein. Make sure you provide fresh water each time you feed.
Notes: This species of ibis is susceptible to Avian botulism. Make sure their waterers are clean and sanitary for them to drink from to avoid this issue.