Plegadis falcinellus - The Glossy Ibis

A wading bird in the Ibis family, the Glossy Ibis is a small, slender ibis with a long curved bill. It is the most widespread of the ibis species and known for its distinctive glossy metallic sheen. Adult Glossy Ibises have the head, neck, back and underparts a rich chestnut-brown. The wings are black with a metallic green sheen on the 'shoulders'.

Did you know? In Afrikaans the Glossy Ibis is known as 'Glansibis'.

There is white stripe from the base of the bill to above the eye. The bill, legs and feet are greenish-brown. The Glossy Ibis is a more slender, longer-billed bird than the Hadeda Ibis. The Glossy Ibis normally occurs in small flocks but can gather in larger groups when food is abundant.


Range mass: 485 to 580 gms.
Range length: 48 to 66 cm.
Range wingspan: 80 to 95 cm.


Wetlands, marshes, muddy lake-shores and flooded grassland.


The Glossy Ibis is found in subtropical Africa. This is a migratory species, with most European birds wintering in Africa.


Insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, fish, frogs and small reptiles. They feed by wading in water and probing in mud or water with their long beaks.


The Glossy Ibis normally occurs in small flocks but will gather in larger groups when food is abundant.


Breeding occurs during the summer months. The nest is a compact platform of twigs or reeds, situated in a tree, bush or reedbed.

The Glossy Ibis nest in colonies, often nesting together in mixed heronries with other species. It lays 2 to 4 eggs which are incubated by both adults for about 20 to 23 days. The nestlings are cared for by both parentsand are ready to leave the nest for nearby branches at about 2 weeks of age.


Incubation lasts for 20 to 23 days.

Life Expectancy

14 to 21 years in the wild.


Birds of prey and crocodiles.


Biodiversity Explorer; The Animal Files.

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Glossy Ibis
Kruger Park's Big 6 Birds
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