THE HUMBLE HADEDA

Something Over Tea

Hadeda Ibises (Bostrychia hagedash) have appeared several times on this blog. Despite their considerable size, they tend to be overlooked and taken for granted. This might be because we have the dubious pleasure of hearing their waking calls before sunrise every day. They were originally birds of forests and wetlands, and their loud calls indicate an ongoing need to keep in touch with each other. Their distinctive and strident ‘ha-ha-hadeda’ calls can be heard from near and far as they raucously remind all in the valley of their presence – usually about half an hour before sunrise and again when they fly in to roost at the end of each day.

These rather elegant birds are fascinating to observe. They have very sensitive beaks and use the sense of touch rather than hearing or smell to find their food, such as earthworms, slugs, snails, crickets or other insects…

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