Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)

Hadada Ibis

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Threskiornithidae | [latin] Bostrychia hagedash | [authority] Latham, 1790 | [UK] Hadada Ibis | [FR] Ibis hagedash | [DE] Hagedasch | [ES] Ibis hadada | [NL] Hadada-ibis


Monotypic species


Bostrychia is a genus of ibises in the Threskiornithidae family. Member species are found in many countries throughout Africa and are cliff-breeding ibise. Bostrychia olivacea has been split into B. olivacea and B. bocagei. Dwarf Olive Ibis Bostrychia bocagei of Sao Tome differs from African Olive Ibis B. olivacea of West and Central Africa in size in wing, bill, tarsus 58-70 mm, tail, bill colour (pale brown with pale red on culmen and tip vs all pale to brick red in rothschildi), and coloration of upperparts (lacking greenish and some bronze sheen of other races), plus an evident but still poorly documented difference in voice.

Physical charateristics

Overall appearance is drab dark olive brown or greyish-brown, although there is a prominent green irridescence on the wing coverts. Eyes offset by a whitish stripe underneath it. Flight feathers and tail display an irridescent bluish-black. Bill is long, black and curved, with red at the base extending about halfway along the upper mandible. Legs are blackish-brown, feet a pale orange brown. No color difference between the sexes, but the female may be slightly smaller with a shorter bill.

Listen to the sound of Hadada Ibis

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/CICONIIFORMES/Threskiornithidae/sounds/Hadada Ibis.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 90 cm wingspan max.: 100 cm
size min.: 65 cm size max.: 76 cm
incubation min.: 25 days incubation max.: 28 days
fledging min.: 48 days fledging max.: 50 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Africa : widespread. Hadadas are found throughout the open grasslands, savannahs and rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa. In many parts of tropical and southern Africa, it is the most common ibis. It ranges from Senegal to eastern Zaire, and from the Sudan to the eastern Cape, not being found around the lower Congo River, nor in the dry southwestern areas.


This species inhabits wooded streams and river courses in open moist grassland and savanna woodland, and is attracted to man-made irrigated habitats, such as cultivated land, large gardens and playing fields. It less often occurs in marshes, flooded grassland, the edges of lakes and reservoirs, mangrove swamps, coastal beaches, open woodland and at forest edges.


They have a lengthy breeding season, usually peaking during and after the main rain in some areas. The nest is a platform of twigs, sticks and branches lined with dry grass, usually built in trees at heights below 9 meters and close to or over water or a wooded stream. Sometimes nest in trees on cliff faces or use the old nests of other birds. Usually lay two to three eggs that are greyish green or buff with pale olive brown or chestnut spots and blotches. They are laid irregularly and may be in various stages of incubation. Incubation is 25-28 days and is done by both sexes. Chicks have rufous brown down and are independent at 49 days.

Feeding habits

This species is carnivorous, its diet consisting largely of insects (especially weevils, Diptera, the pupae of Lepidoptera and the larvae of Coleoptera), as well as crustaceans, millipedes, centipedes, spiders, earthworms, snails and small reptiles

Video Hadada Ibis


copyright: Alex Garcia


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The bird’s name is derived from its rauccous call of ?ha-ha-a-a-a-a?, usually uttered on the wing. At dawn, its rattling croaks are well known. Hadadas typically call around dusk or sunrise, when they are returning to the roost or leaving it. One bird starts calling, followed immediately by others. In large roosts, several groups may call simultaneously. The species is threatened by extended droughts (which reduce food availability by causing damp soil to harden, making it more difficult to probe for insects). The population in South Africa declined markedly at the turn of the century due to hunting during colonial expansion1. Utilisation The species is hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeri
Hadada Ibis status Least Concern


This species is predominantly sedentary, although it may make local nomadic movements in response to rainfall during periods of drought.

Distribution map

Hadada Ibis distribution range map

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