“and for a long time birds and hedgehogs, and ibises and ravens shall dwell in it: and the measuring line of desolation shall be cast over it, and satyrs shall dwell in it. (Isaiah 34:11 Brenton)”
The family Threskiornithidae includes 34 species of large wading birds. The family has been traditionally classified into two subfamilies, the ibises and the spoonbills; however recent genetic studies are casting doubt on the arrangement and revealing the spoonbills to be nested within the ibises.
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian
Members of the family have long, broad wings with 11 primary feathers and about 20 secondaries. They are strong fliers and, rather surprisingly, given their size and weight, very capable soarers. The body tends to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. They are large birds, but mid-sized by the standards of their order, ranging from the dwarf olive ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), at 45 cm (18 in) and 450 g (0.99 lb), to the giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea), at 100 cm (39 in) and 4.2 kg (9.3 lb).
They are distributed almost worldwide, being found near almost any area of standing or slow-flowing fresh or brackish water. Ibises are also found in drier areas, including landfills.
All ibises are diurnal; spending the day feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and small vertebrates: ibises by probing in soft earth or mud, spoonbills by swinging the bill from side to side in shallow water. At night, they roost in trees near water. They are gregarious, feeding, roosting, and flying together, often in formation.
African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) by Lee at LPZoo
Threskiornis is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the Old World in southern Asia, nest in a tree or bush and lay two to four eggs. They occur in marshy wetlands and feed on various fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects. The species in this genus are the; African sacred ibis, T. aethiopicus, Malagasy sacred ibis, T. bernieri, Reunion ibis T. solitarius (extinct), Black-headed ibis, T. melanocephalus, Australian white ibis, T. moluccus, Solomons white ibis, T. m. pygmaeus, and theStraw-necked ibis, T. spinicollis.
The bird genus Pseudibis consists of two South-East Asian species in the ibis subfamily, Threskiornithinae. The giant ibis is also sometimes placed in this genus. Red-naped Ibis, Pseudibis papillosa andWhite-shouldered Ibis, Pseudibis davisoni. The white-shouldered ibis is critically endangered.
Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus) by Dan at Lowry Park Zoo
The small bird genus Geronticus belongs to the ibis subfamily (Threskiornithinae). Its name is derived from the Greek gérontos (γέρωντος, “old man”) in reference to the bald head of these dark-plumaged birds; in English, they are called bald ibises.
Geronticus contains two living species. The northern bald ibis (G. eremita) has a neck crest of elongated feathers. It is a Critically Endangered species found around the Mediterranean. Its range had expanded after the last glacial period to the Alps of Germany and even a bit further north, but it was rendered extinct there mainly due to habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting. The southern bald ibis (G. calvus) with a red crown patch but no crest is classified as Vulnerable and is found in subtropical southern Africa.
Nipponia– The crested ibis (Nipponia nippon), also known as the Japanese crested ibis or toki (トキ?), variously written in kanji as 朱鷺, 鴇, 鵇 or 鴾, and written in hanzi as 朱䴉 or 朱鷺, is a large (up to 78.5 cm (30.9 in) long), white-plumaged ibis of pine forests. Its head is partially bare, showing red skin, and it has a dense crest of white plumes on the nape. This species is the only member of the genus Nipponia.
Bostrychia is a genus of ibises in the family Threskiornithidae. Member species are found in many countries throughout Africa.
It contains the following five species:Wattled ibis (Bostrychia carunculata), Hadada ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), Olive ibis (Bostrychia olivacea), São Tomé ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), Spot-breasted ibis (Bostrychia rara)
Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus) by Dario Sanches
Theristicus is a genus of birds in the family Threskiornithidae. They are found in open, grassy habitats in South America. All have a long, decurved dark bill, relatively short reddish legs that do not extend beyond the tail in flight (unlike e.g. Eudocimus and Plegadis), and at least the back is grey. They are the Plumbeous ibis, Theristicus caerulescens, Buff-necked ibis, Theristicus caudatus, Black-faced ibis, Theristicus melanopis, Andean ibis, Theristicus branickii,
Mesembrinibis– The green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), also known as the Cayenne ibis, is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. It is the only member of the genus Mesembrinibis.
This is a resident breeder from Honduras through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western Panama, and South America to northern Argentina. It undertakes some local seasonal movements in the dry season.
Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus) by Robert Scanlon
Phimosus – The bare-faced ibis (Phimosus infuscatus), also known as the whispering ibis, is a species of bird in the family Threskiornithidae, in the monotypic genus Phimosus.
It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is swamps. The Bare-faced Ibis is either dark brown or a blackish color. It is called the Bare-faced Ibis because it does not have any feathers on its face. It has a long Decurved bill that’s pinkish to reddish brown. The skin on its face is usually a reddish color and it also has long orangely colored beak with pink legs. The total length of the ibis ranges between 45 and 50 cm.
Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) by Dan at LPZoo
Eudocimus is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the New World with representatives from the southern United States south through Central America, the West Indies, and South America.
There are just two species in this genus, American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) and Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) by Dan’s Pix
Plegadis is a bird genus in the family Threskiornithidae. The genus name derives from Ancient Greek plegados, “sickle”, referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Member species are found on every continent except Antarctica as well as a number of islands. The glossy ibis is easily the most widespread of the three species. Plegadis contains the following three species: Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, , White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi, Puna Ibis, Plegadis ridgwayi.
Lophotibis– The Madagascan ibis (Lophotibis cristata), also known as the Madagascar crested ibis, white-winged ibis or crested wood ibis, is a medium-sized (approximately 50 cm long), brown-plumaged ibis. It has bare red orbital skin, yellow bill, red legs, white wings and its head is partially bare with a dense crest of green or gloss blue and white plumes on the nape. The Madagascan Ibis is the only member of the genus Lophotibis.
Roseate Spoonbill at Flamingo Gardens by Lee
Platalea– Spoonbills are a group of large, long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae, which also includes the ibises. The genus name platalea derives from Latin and means “broad”, referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Six species are recognised, all either placed in a single genus or three genera. They are most closely related to the Old World ibises; Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, African Spoonbill Platalea alba, Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia, Yellow-billed Spoonbill Platalea flavipes, and our local Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja.
All spoonbills have large, flat, spatulate bills and feed by wading through shallow water, sweeping the partly opened bill from side to side. The moment any small aquatic creature touches the inside of the bill—an insect, crustacean, or tiny fish—it is snapped shut. Spoonbills generally prefer fresh water to salt but are found in both environments. They need to feed many hours each day.
“And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:21-23 KJV)
Once there was a little boy who had short brown hair and was kind of short for his age. Every week, his parents would take him to a small park by a big lake.
When they arrived, the little boy fed the ibises bread and talked to them about how he was about to start school. The ibises ate as much bread as they could hold and decided they liked hearing the little boy talk.
Several years passed and the little boy became a teenager. He started having problems with his grades. After failing another math test, the boy drove down to the park with some bread. Watching the ibises fly over and eat the bread made the boy feel a lot better and the ibises listened patiently as he told them all about how he could not get his grades to improve.
Eventually the teenage boy became a man and got married. The ibises started to multiply. A few years later, the man brought his children to the park. The ibises did the same. The man and his wife watched as their kids fed the ibises and as the ibises showed their children how to eat the bread with them. The man also taught his children how to talk to them.
White Ibis on Table Listening by Lee
Many years passed and all the man’s children grew up and moved away. The man grew old, but he still drove to the park every week to feed the ibises.
Finally, one day, the old man grew too old to drive. He took one last drive to the park however. The ibises came as usual. The old man told the ibises that he wouldn’t be able to come and see them anymore because he couldn’t drive much longer. The ibises were very sad when they heard this statement. As the old man drove home, the ibises decided to fly after his car and follow him home. Soon there was a great flock of birds following the old man’s car.
The next day the old man opened his front door to get the mail and found the flock of ibises. The old man was very happy about the ibises coming to his house every day. From that day on, the ibises flew to the old man’s’ house so he could feed them bread.
American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) coming to the yard by Lee
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (Colossians 3:12 KJV)
Emma has written another fine Bird Tale for us. It is enjoyable to watch as she is developing her writing skills. Each tale is better than the one before. This one is very heart touching. (Maybe it meant a lot because I wonder if the birds will come “people-watching” here when I can no longer go watch them.)
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)
To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, (Psalms 92:2 KJV)
There is much friendliness and kindness shown in this story.
Last week while reading by the window that overlooks our small backyard, my eye caught movement. When I looked out, under the tree in the shade stood a Sandhill Crane surrounded by 8 or 9 White Ibises. The Ibises walked toward my way and were digging and checking out our lawn. The group kept moving and digging around as Ibises will do. They exited left of my view and the Sandhill was still standing in the same spot. Soon, from the left of view the Ibises came back and this time there were 11 of them. They walked back toward the crane and exited right. Crane still standing. Then a few minutes later, back they came right to left and this time there were 13 of them. The Crane was still standing there. Off they went to the left of my view. You got it, the crane was still standing there. Then, here they came the last time, left to right, and there were 14 of them this time. My stately Sandhill Crane was still standing there. All of this took place in about a 30 minute time span.
White Ibises at Lake Morton by Dan
Needless to say, my reading was slowed down by all this activity. The ibises were digging around and yet they kept on the move. They put their beaks in the ground and pound up and down about 5 or 6 times and then move on and repeat the process over again. One or two of them will find something good to eat and will stay in the same spot to continue to dig. When they look up and see that the group has moved on, they immediately scurry off to catch up with the others. They have a funny little way of walking. This was repeated many times as they looked up and then followed the crowd.
I can come up with several applications for what was going on, but I will only choose one of them, for now.
God has given us His Word, the Bible, and in it we learn the truths about God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit who are one and are the great I AM. The Word reveals truths about creation, salvation, sin, God’s attributes such as love, mercy, grace, judgment, justice, long-suffering, etc. As the Sandhill Crane stood, so should we stand firm in the truths taught in the Bible. We should not waver or try to change what has been written. Jesus has provided salvation, through His death on the cross, and invites us to accept His gift of salvation.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Many people know the truth about Jesus, the Cross, God, creation, heaven, hell, etc., but do not apply it to their heart or soul. They either think, there is some other way and are always searching for some new “angle” of belief. Be it different religions, non-religion, atheism, or what ever.
Off on another search - American White Ibis by Bob-Nan
Others who do accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, want to find some new “angle” to what the Bible teaches, by perverting it, or trying to twist it to where their “sin” is justified. Maybe are just not really “walking with the Lord” and want to live in sin or they become false teachers.
Both groups, unbelievers or believers, are like the Ibises who go away from the truth (crane), and try new things, then almost come back, sort of, and then scurry off to find something different. Even those who settle down, look up and see the crowd going a certain way, and run after that new thing.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
May we all seek the truth of God, accept the Lord’s salvation, and then live our lives according to God’s Word.