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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Braggart of Bharatpur: Black-headed Ibis

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

(Nikon D5600, 200-500mm lens; 1/500, f/5.6, ISO250; hand-held)

Black-headed Ibis (also called Indian White Ibis, Oriental White Ibis and Black-necked Ibis) (Threskiornis melanocephalus) is a widespread resident bird of India. It’s a large wader with a white plumed body that is conspicuously contrasted by a bare black head and neck (although, during its juvenile stage the neck maybe covered in feathers). Its characteristic decurved bill and legs are also black in colour. Being a member of the stork family, it lacks a fully developed syrinx (the voice box of a bird) and is therefore mostly silent except for an occasional grunt or croak while nesting. The population of this ibis has been rapidly declining in many parts of South and Southeast Asia due to habitat degradation, hunting, and egg harvesting; and it has been placed in the ‘near threatened’ category of IUCN. On the contrary, its population has been increasing in India as the bird has shown versatility and has adapted to man made wetlands including paddy fields.

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Aug 15, 2023
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