The Enigmatic Black-Headed Ibis – A Detailed Examination


The Black-Headed Ibis is one of the most captivating species for any bird lover. It’s not just the ibis’s conspicuous appearance — a stark white plumage contrasted with a bald black neck and head — that is awe-inspiring, but also its versatility in adapting to different habitats. Often found in bird sanctuaries, its distinctive appearance has also made it a popular subject in bird image names, bird PNGs, and bird photos. Despite its grandeur, the bird has faced significant threats, leading it to be labelled ‘Near Threatened’ by IUCN. This article will delve into every aspect of the Black-Headed Ibis that makes it an intriguing member of birdlife.


Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameBlack-Headed Ibis
2BinomialThreskiornis melanocephalus
3ColourWhite with black neck and head
4Average length65-76 cm
5Average height65-76 cm (Vertical)
6Type of birdWaterbird
7Found in statesIndia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar
8HabitatFreshwater and saltwater marshes
9IUCN StatusNear Threatened

Features of the Bird


Measuring 65-76 cm in length, the Black-Headed Ibis is relatively giant for a waterbird. Its width varies but tends to match its length, making it a robust bird with an imposing physique. If you are a bird lover who often scans through bird image names or photos, you’ll note that the size of this bird makes it a formidable subject for photography.


When measured vertically from its standing position upside down, the Black-Headed Ibis averages the same height as in length. This 65-76 cm range ensures it has a dominating presence in its natural habitat and makes it a popular choice in bird sanctuaries and birdlife sanctuaries.

Running Speed

Although exact data on its running speed is scarce, it is versatile enough to adapt to various terrains. Its legs are powerful enough to wade through marshy lands and water bodies, making it a unique subject in bird migration studies.


The striking contrast of white plumage against a black head and neck makes it a distinct subject for bird pictures and PNGs. During the breeding season, the light grey tail feathers turn jet black, adding more contrast and beauty to this majestic bird.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Natural Habitats: The Black-Headed Ibis is versatile in its choice of habitat. You can find them in freshwater and saltwater marshes, which are often a part of bird sanctuaries or birdlife sanctuaries.
  1. Man-made Habitats: They are also seen in rice fields, freshly ploughed crop fields, and even open sewage gutters. For bird watchers, this adaptability makes it easier to spot them even in urban settings.
  1. Seasonal Preferences: In agricultural landscapes like southwestern Uttar Pradesh in India, their preferred foraging habitats change by the season. They gravitate towards natural marshes in summer and spread out to agricultural fields during monsoon.
  1. Food: Their diet primarily consists of aquatic animals and insects, making them a vital part of their ecosystems.
  1. Foraging Habits: They forage both in the day and night, adding to their unique characteristics.

Nesting and Nurturing

The bird builds a platform nest of sticks, typically lined with grass and threads. Bird nest construction takes place near wetlands, usually in heronry colonies.It’s interesting to note that both male and female birds share the responsibility of incubating their eggs.For birdhouse enthusiasts, creating a conducive environment mimicking their natural nesting habitats could encourage these birds to breed.


The Black-Headed Ibis faces significant threats from habitat loss and pollution. In places like Sumatra, the species has seen the most rapid decline. Birdshop near me searches often yield bird-related products, but it’s crucial to ensure these are ethically sourced to not contribute to the endangerment of such species.

IUCN Status and Conservation

Labelled as ‘Near Threatened’ by the IUCN, the Black-Headed Ibis is on the verge of becoming endangered if immediate conservation measures are not taken. Bird and birdlife sanctuaries are critical in providing safe havens for these birds. Financial and volunteer support for these sanctuaries can go a long way in helping to conserve this magnificent bird.


The Black-Headed Ibis is not just another bird; it’s a spectacle of nature worth every bit of our attention and conservation efforts.Let’s make a conscious effort to protect the mesmerizing bird species for bird lovers, watchers, and enthusiasts alike.

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