Black-headed Ibis (or) Oriental White Ibis

Black-headed Ibis also known as the Oriental White Ibis near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
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Scientific Name: Threskiornis melanocephalus
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum    : Chordata
Class         : Aves
Order        : Pelecaniformes
Family      : Threskiornithidae
Genus       : Threskiornis
Species     : T. melanocephalus

How to identify this bird:

Observe the bird in the photo gallery above and note the following:

  • It is about 75 cms long and a large, stocky, mainly white ibis
  • Its has a stout downward curved black bill
  • The adult breeding bird has naked black head and white ornamental lower-neck plumes at the base of its neck, variable yellow wash to mantle and breast, and slaty grey scapulars and in wings
  • The adult non-breeding is duller, with white streaking on dark brown head and neck
  • The juvenile is similar to adult non-breeding, but is dark brown with white mottling on head, and only faint yellowish-green gloss to upper parts.
Where do I find this bird:
  • You can find this bird very close to DPS Tapi in the paddy fields
  • It generally occurs in marshy wetlands inland and on the coast
  • It is a close relative of spoonbill and is similar in its habits and habitat
  • It walks about actively on marshy land probing with its bill into the soft mud with its mandibles partly open like forceps.
  • It often feeds in shallow water with its head momentarily submerged.
  • It feeds on various fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as on insects.
  • Just like storks and spoonbills, it lacks a true voice-producing mechanism and is silent except for peculiar ventriloquial grunts uttered when nesting.
  • It nests between June-August on a platform of twigs in trees near the water generally near the outskirts of villages.
Local Names:

Hindi           :  Safed baza, Didhar, Munda.
Bengali       :  Sada dochara, Kastechara
Assamese :  Boga akoki bog
Tamil          :  Thalaikaththi chondan