Perhaps not quite as pretty as a Peacock, or as handsome as a Harlequin Duck the Northern Bald Ibis really is a peculiar looking bird; it’s featherless head and neck and long proboscis like beak make it truly unmistakable. These birds are native to Europe, The Middle East and Northern Africa; feeding in semi-arid grasslands, where they use their beak to probe in cracks and fissures for their favoured food of beetles and lizards.
The Northern Bald Ibis prefers to breed in colonies of around 40 individuals. Both the male and female make nests from branches, lining them with grass. These nests are often situated on cliffs or in caves. Egg laying usually occurs between March and April, with a clutch size of between two and four eggs.
Threats in the wild
Currently classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List; the Northern Bald Ibis is a bird on the brink. It’s numbers have declined massively in recent years, and it is thought that this decline is down to a number of factors including; hunting and persecution, habitat loss, disturbance of breeding sites and the use of pesticides.