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Immature Straw-necked Ibis feeding

(Threskiornis spinicollis)
Alternate name(s): "Farmer's Friend", "Dryweather-bird", "Letter-bird"
Aboriginal name(s): "paipan", "murrgumurrgu" [yuwaalaraay, yuwaalayaay];
"jungar*" [western bundjalung]

Size: 60-70 cm

Back to the Straw-necked Ibis main page .

In November 2011, at the height of the breeding season for Straw-necked Ibises, a small flock of up to 30 birds was observed by us 20 km East of Narrabri, NSW. Of these, a varying number of individuals came to our property to forage on the paddock and sometimes on the lawn. It turned out that all of them were immature birds, some without straw-like feathers (possibly last year's offspring), some with partially developed spiny feathers (possibly two year olds).

Near-frontal view of an immature Straw-necked Ibis; note the iridescence of its feathers

Lateral view of an immature Straw-necked Ibis foraging

This photo shows how it, after catching a grub, flicks back its head to catapult its prey up into its gullet

This bird had almost no spiny feathers, indicating that it is younger than the individual shown above

Lateral view of the same bird as shown above

Such a long curved bill is also quite handy for preening

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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