Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Australian White Ibis

At one point in time, not too many years ago, the only birds one would see in the parks of Brisbane were pigeons. However, over the last 10 to 15 years Brisbane has been invaded by the Australian White Ibis. This subspecies of the Ibis family is actually native to Australia. It is common in northern and eastern Australia and its preferred habitats include swamps, lagoons, floodplains and grasslands. As we are well aware of in Brisbane, it has also become a successful inhabitant of urban parks and gardens.

An Ibis in Post Office Square

There is some evidence to suggest that with increased water use for agriculture in inland New South Wales and Queensland, along with the continuing drought, these birds have been forced into coastal cities. They now inhabit the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens and can be found in the many city parks scavenging for food in rubbish bins.

Ibeses ready to snatch any unwatched food

Some people view these birds as noisy nuisances. However, whenever I see them I am reminded of ancient Egypt. Our Australian White Ibeses look very similar to the Sacred Ibis which was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god, Thoth.

An Ibis searching for bugs and worms with its long beak

1 comment:

Friendless said...

I was sitting in Post Office Square eating my sandwich one day, in fact I would have been in the background of your second picture, and an ibis tried to steal the other half of my sandwich. It actually got it but dropped it when it tried to run away. Yes, they look nice, but they're an absolute pain when you're trying to eat.

Didn't the BCC hire an eagle to chase them away?