Red-naped Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa)

Red-naped Ibis

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Threskiornithidae | [latin] Pseudibis papillosa | [authority] Temminck, 1824 | [UK] Red-naped Ibis | [FR] Ibis noir | [DE] Warzenibis | [ES] Ibis Verrucoso | [NL] Wrattenibis


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Pseudibis papillosa OR India, Pakistan, Nepal


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, as it is on PoB. It is closely related to the genus Geronticus.

Physical charateristics

It is a medium sized bird of about 68 cm length with a wing span of about 38 cm having a 16 to 19cm long tail. The adult bird has a triangular patch of red warts on the head and extending about 13 to 17 cm long down curved bill. It has an inner lesser wing covert with a white shoulder patch that is visible while the bird is in flight. The neck, mantle, lower back, rump and lower plumage are all brown. The scapulars and back feathers are bronze green. The tail is black and richly glazed with blue green. The wings are black, glazed blue and secondary feathers of wing are sometimes flecked with white. A large, brood patch of white runs along the leading edge of the wing on the lesser wing coverts to well below the carpal joints. Although prominent in flight, this features shows only a thin white line when the wings are closed. The short legs are hidden beneath the steel blue tail in flight. The tibia has feathering half way to the tarsus joint. The head, somewhat square shaped is black and distinctively capped with a triangular patch of warty red skin, absent in juveniles. The eye is orange red to bright red. The curved bill and the broad stubby feet are horn coloured. The iris, legs and feet turn bright red at the commencement of breeding. The male is slightly larger than the female.

Listen to the sound of Red-naped Ibis

[audio: Ibis.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 100 cm wingspan max.: 115 cm
size min.: 60 cm size max.: 68 cm
incubation min.: 25 days incubation max.: 27 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Oriental Region : India, Pakistan, Nepal. Pakistan, Nepal and India, southwards to Mysore and eastwards to Assam; perhaps also in Arakan (W Burma).


It is found at lakes, in marshes, in riverbeds and on irrigated farmland, it is not as aquatic as many other species of ibis. It is gregarious and generally forages on margins of wetlands in small numbers.


Nests solitary,very rarely in small parties in same tree. Nest is a huge platform of twigs and sticks, line with straw built in a leafy tree. The clutch size 2-3 eggs which are incubated for about 3-4 weeks. The young fledge after another 6-7 weeks.

Feeding habits

Forages in small groups up to 10 birds by picking and probing the surface. Is a generalist feeder with a diet consisting of insects, small vertebrates, invertebrates, crustaceans. It is more adapted to drier country than any other Ibis.

Video Red-naped Ibis


copyright: Eric Van Marck


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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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 population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction
Red-naped Ibis status Least Concern


Sedentary with some nomadic movements due to rainfall.

Distribution map

Red-naped Ibis distribution range map

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