The Straw-necked Ibis is a very common bird in the Murray Bridge district of South Australia where I live. I have seen flocks numbering in the hundreds flying overhead, and sometimes smaller flocks land to feed in the open paddock opposite our home. On the odd occasion a few will even land on our five acre block.
It is strange then that I did not have a good close-up photo of this species to show here – until last week when I visited Adelaide Zoo and got the above shot in the walk-through aviary. That’s bird photography for you. I have photos of species I never expected to get, and none of some common species. [Sigh]
The Straw-necked Ibis is a widespread species in northern and eastern Australia and is expanding its range in Western Australia and Tasmania. Within its range it is found in freshwater and saline wetlands, tidal mudflats and swamps. It has adapted to life in pastures and other irrigated areas, lawns, ovals, public parks and gardens.
Yesterday morning while having a cuppa out in my wife’s native plant nursery I observed a small flock of eleven Ibises flying high above us. The flock consisted of ten White Ibis and one Straw-Necked Ibis. I have frequently observed flocks of several hundreds of Ibises flying over or near the river here in Murray Bridge but we rarely get them flying over our place.
Most of the time they are Straw-Necked Ibis but occasionally there will be a few White Ibis fly over. The Straw-Necked seem to be the more common of the two species here in this part of Australia, in my experience anyway.
I haven’t any really good photos of either species yet which is a little surprising as they are very approachable and can be quite tame. In fact in some of the eastern states of Australia they are a pest species in parks and gardens. They will aggressively approach picnickers and steal food, a somewhat frightening experience for small children. (Some of our bird species can develop aggressive tendencies. For more comments click here.)
The above photo is the best I currently have. It is a special one because it was taken some time ago and is a record of the very first Straw Necked Ibis that we observed to land on our five acre block of land in over twenty years.
Updated Nov 2013.