The Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis a. arthiopicus) is a very large bird of 30" (76cm), which is widespread in Kenya, in or around water, including coastal lagoons and estuaries. It breeds annually in the north of the country, as far as Lake Turkana.

It is named 'Sacred', because it used to be found in Egypt, where it was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth.

The Sacred Ibis feeds on fish, frogs, small mammals, reptiles, smaller birds and insects - a variety of protein-rich foods. It also digs its long bill deep into mud or soft earth, seeking out worms. It is a frequent visitor to rubbish tips, where it will eat just about any human waste.

It is a gregarious bird that nests in colonies building its nest from sticks, high up in tree canopys (often preferring baobab trees) and lays around 23 eggs. Thus, it has had surprising results in population growth where it has been introduced into Southern Europe; to the point it has caused problems - it is a predator of Terns.

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Keywords:bird, ibis, kenya, sacred ibis, wildlife

Sacred Ibis ~ Digging

Sacred Ibis digging beak into mud, Kenya.

Sacred Ibis ~ Pair

Pair of Sacred Ibis feeding & preening.