Southern Bald Ibis | Geronticus calvus | Birds & Birding Southern Africa

The Southern Bald Ibis is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Threskiornithidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ibises, Spoonbills.

Robert's Birding Information On The Southern Bald Ibis

The description for the Southern Bald Ibis (Latin name Geronticus calvus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Geronticus calvus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 92 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 610. You will find a picture of the Southern Bald Ibis on page 593.

The Southern Bald Ibis is known as a "lifer" in the birding circles of South Africa.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Bald Ibis in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Southern Bald Ibis between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Southern Bald Ibis is known in Afrikaans as Kalkoenibis.

The Southern Bald Ibis is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Southern Bald Ibis has a height of 81 cms and weighs around gms. The head is coloured red while the bill is coloured red. The Geronticus calvus has a white coloured throat, red legs and a copper coloured back. The eyes are orange.

The male Geronticus calvus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is red

Eyes are orange

Bill is red

Legs are red

Throat is white

Back is copper

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Southern Bald Ibis Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Southern Bald Ibis Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Southern Bald Ibis is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Southern Bald Ibis is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...