Historically rare in urban areas, this bird has immigrated to urban areas of the east coast in increasing numbers since the late 1970s; it is now commonly seen in Wollongong, Sydney, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville. Debate continues on whether to consider it a pest or vulnerable species. Populations have disappeared from natural breeding areas such as the Macquarie Marches in northwestern New South Wales and yet, despite this, the species has been culled in parts of Sydney due to their smell and at times obtrusive nature. The white ibis usually gives off a foul stench; a smell not described as rotten, but an odd smell that is rather unpleasant and distinct. It's call is a long croak. Red can be seen under its wings when in flight.
It's sister species is the AFRICAN SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) which has an all white body plumage apart from dark plumes on the rump. The bald head and neck, thick curved bill and legs are black.
The Sacred Ibis breeds in sub-Saharan Africa, southeastern Iraq, and formerly in Egypt, where it was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth. The African Sacred ibis occurs in marshy wetlands and mud flats, both inland and on the coast. It will also visit cultivation and rubbish dumps. In flight the winds show a black rear border in flight.
The Sacred Ibis is usually silent, but occasionally makes some croaking noises, unlike its vocal relative:
The HADEDA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) is a heavy bodied brown to grey bird with iridescent pink-purple shoulder patches and a long de-curved bill. It has a narrow, white, roughly horizontal stripe across its cheeks. This is why it is sometimes called the 'moustache" though it does not reach the mouth corners. It has a distinctively loud, penetrating and recognisable haa-haa-haa-de-had call that is often heard when the birds are flying or when startled, hence the name, Hadeda.
The Hadeda ibis move around in flocks numbering up to 20 birds or 100 out of breeding season and is found in sub-Saharan Africa in open grasslands, savanna and wetlands, as well as urban parks, school fields, green corridors and large gardens. The countries that this bird occurs in are Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Gambia, Kenya, Somalia and South Africa.
I've not given detail of breeding, feeding etc., but wanted to demonstrate different type of Ibis and how widespread they are in different countries. I was intrigued about how smelly the White Australian ibis can be and you'd certainly not want it landing in your back garden!!