Sacred Ibis - Threskiornis aethiopicus

Alternative names
African Sacred Ibis

The Sacred Ibis is a distinctive large wading bird that measures about 75 cm in length and weighs approximately 1.35 kilograms.  It has a wingspan of 112 to124 cm.  The plumage of the sacred ibis is mainly white in colour with black plumes on its lower back. Its small head and slender, curved neck are also black and practically bald. The legs of the sacred ibis are long and black and its feet are partially webbed like most wading birds.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Wetlands where it uses its long, slender, downward curved bill to probe into sand and mud in shallow water or in grass and soil when foraging.

UK Status

Occurs in Britain as a rare Vagrant or as an escaped bird from collections. Most British records have come from England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded visitor to Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map