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Australian Ibis - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Threskiornis molucca)
Adult, nominate subspecies
Photo © by julien
Victoria, Australia, April 2004

Alternative Name: Australian White Ibis

Threskiornis molucca


Photo © by julien
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 15 November 2007

63–76 cm (24¾-30 in)

  • Bald black head and neck
  • White body
  • Black feathers near tail
  • Dark legs
  • Red skin on underside of wing (during breeding)
  • Long down-curved black bill

Juveniles: head and neck are feathered.


They are widespread in eastern and south western Australia.


This species was not too long ago thought to be a part of the Sacred Ibis.


Photo © by Ken Doy
Sandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, 4 December 2016

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • T. m. molucca:
  • T. m. pygmaeus:


Freshwater wetlands, irrigated areas, dams, floodplains, brackish and saline wetlands, tidal mudflats, pastures, lawns, orchards, garbage tips, public gardens.



The diet includes fish, frogs, insects and garbage.


Colonial breeders, the breeding seasons is variable depending on the availability of water.


Showing scarlet under-wing breeding patch
Photo © by julien
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, December 2014

Usually silent except around breeding colonies where they give a variety of harsh guttural croaks or honks; similar to calls of Straw-necked Ibis


Sedentary, dispersive.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Animal Pictures Archive
  3. BirdForum Member observations
  4. Matheu, E., del Hoyo, J., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2019). Australian Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52755 on 30 December 2019).
  5. de Boer L. E. M., van Brink J. M. (1982) Cytotaxonomy of the Ciconiiformes (Aves), with karyotypes of eight species new to cytology. Cytogenet Genome Res 34:19-34.
  6. Lowe, K. W.; Richards, G. C. (1991). Morphological Variation in the Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus Superspecies Complex (PDF). Emu. 91 (1): 41-45. doi:10.1071/MU9910041. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  7. Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J. 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Volume 1. Australian pelican to ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  8. Schodde, R. & Bock, W. 2016. Conflict resolution of grammar and gender for avian species-group names under Article 31.2.2 of the ICZN Code: is gender agreement worth it? Zootaxa 4127: 161-170.
  9. Southey, I. 2013. White ibis. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

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