African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Sacred Ibis, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, December 2010 - click for larger image

Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
December 2010

The African Sacred Ibis is distributed throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara. The birds found in the UAE are escapes from zoos but have now formed a small breeding population. They are found in a wide variety of habitats and are sometimes far from any water.

It has black and white plumage with black head and neck, black bill and legs and black scapulars that droop over the rear. In flight it shows a black line along the trailing edge of the white wings. The bird in the centre of this photo is an immature showing a mottled effect on the head and neck due to white feathering on what will eventually become bare black skin.

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