The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Southern Bald Ibis

Afrikaans name: Kalkoenibis

Southern Bald Ibis

Southern Bald Ibis

Photo © Steven Herbert

Geronticus calvus

The Southern Bald Ibis is a rather strange looking bird with its bald head capped in red, red legs and bill and dark greenish-black plumage. They can normally be seen striding along areas of short grass looking for food.

They are only found in the higher grassland areas of South Africa and prefer areas of short grass particularly after it has been burnt.

The Southern Bald Ibis is typically gregarious and can often be seen in flocks although they can be seen singly as well. Their population numbers were in decline but have stabilised at around 2,000 pairs.

Whilst patrolling the grassland they feed on a wide variety of prey including frogs, small mammals, birds, worms, insects and snails.

Despite being fond of grassland areas they make their nests on cliff ledges in mountanous areas. Between 1 and 3 eggs are laid in a nest made of sticks. Both parents tend to the eggs and chicks.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 40

Wild Issue 44 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 60

The Rare Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P.A. Clancey - Published: 1985 - Page: 71

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Published: 1989 - Page: 101

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 31

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 107

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 65

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 58

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 70

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 73

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 72

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 55

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 50

Roberts Bird Guide - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 2007 - Page: 182

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 37

Rare Birds of the World - Author: Guy Mountford & Norman Arlott - Published: 1988 - Page: 107

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 84

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 84

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 62

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 74

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 10

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 27

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 34

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 7

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 51

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 166

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 166

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 45

BirdLife South Africa


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