The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a non-wading bird in the Threskiornithidae family of wading birds. Most ibises are wetland wading birds, living near water sources, but the Northern Bald Ibis is not a wetland wading bird.
It lives and breeds in colonies and flocks of up to 100 individuals. It makes a stick nest high on a cliff ledge to avoid predators.
The female lays 2-3 eggs. The chicks hatch after about 25 days and gain their feathers within 40-50 days.
The Northern Bald Ibis has glossy black feathers with an iridescent green and purple sheen. It has a red bald (featherless) face and head, with a ruff of feathers on its neck. Its red beak is long and downward-curved. It has amber (orange-brown) eyes and pink legs.
Its chicks are grey-brown with fluffy feathers. They have black eyes and grey-black beaks. They do not get their adult colours until they are about one year old. The parents feed their chicks on insects, lizards, snails, spiders, and scorpions.
The Northern Bald Ibis lives in southern Morocco and Syria. It prefers rocky, barren, and semi-desert habitats or mountain areas.
It lives for an average of 20-25 years.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM