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Southern Bald Ibis - BirdForum Opus

Geronticus calvus
Photo by nkgray
Near Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Bare, bright red crown and white face and throat. Feathering dark green with iridescent green, bronze and violet.


Eastern South Africa, Lesotho and western Swaziland.


Geronticus calvus is monotypic[1].

There is one other species in this genus; the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) of south-western Asia, north Africa and southern Europe.

Photo by Alan Manson
Obonjaneni, Bergville District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, May 2007


High-altitude (1200-3000 m), moist grassland and cultivated fields with crop residues. Breeds and roosts in colonies on cliffs.


Classified as Vulnerable in the 2007 IUCN Red List due to habitat loss (BirdLife International, 2007).


Gregarious. Typically roosts in groups of 40-50, and forages in smaller groups. Forages, mainly for insects, while walking.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. BirdLife International (2007) Species factsheet: Geronticus calvus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2007.
  3. Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 0620340533

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