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Waldrapp Ibis

The Northern Bald Ibis, Hermit Ibis, or Waldrapp, Geronticus eremita, is a large bird found in barren semi-desert or rocky habitats, often but not always close to running water.


This is a large glossy black ibis, 70-80 cm long with a 120-135 cm wingspan. It has an unfeathered red face and head and a long decurved red bill. It breeds colonially on cliffs in rocky deserts in the Middle East and Africa north of the Sahara, laying 2-3 eggs. Its food is insects and other small creatures. It was once much widespread across the Middle East, northern Africa and even the European Alps, though it went exinct there over 400 years ago.


It is migratory in parts of its range, but its wintering areas have recently been discovered in parts of Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and perhaps some of Somalia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. This species is now officially critically endangered, with an estimated population in of 420 in the wild[1] and about 1500 in captivity (2004). It retains only a foothold in Morocco, Turkey and Syria.

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Taken on March 10, 2008