blp shabash 430x45

Australian White Ibis

Australian White Ibis (Image ID 42921)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Tue 13th Oct, 2020 and uploaded on Fri 16th Oct, 2020 .
Resolution954x1400
Viewed22
ID42921
CommentOne of the benefits of having an Australian White Ibis flock descend and colonize an island in the lake of your local park is that you can observe in full view the whole life cycle of this gregarious bird. Over the past two years, they have been building their ibis high-rise “hotels” in the island trees and shrubs, with nests at various storeys from water level to almost the tops of the trees (by strange irony, right next door is the now decommissioned bluestone Pentridge Gaol where four developers are building four 19-storey high rise apartment buildings with scant regard for the iconic heritage surroundings). On a recent circumnavigation of the lake, with some of the 200 or more Ibis seeming to inhabit every inch of space on the banks and flying over and around me, I chanced to see one crucial stage in the Ibis life cycle, a parent feeding its offspring by a process of regurgitation. What initially attracted my attention was seeing the juvenile bird constantly bobbing its head up and down and spreading its wings and trying to insert its beak into the parent’s beak. The parent eventually did indeed allow the youngster to insert its beak and regurgitated a dollop of food for it. The youngster, however, was not satisfied and continued to press for more, with much wing flapping and efforts to open its parent’s beak. Then its brother or sister turned up and wanted its share too. An Ibis’s lot is not an easy one. Apparently, up until when the juveniles can fly on their own, they have to be fed by this regurgitation method for some 6 or 7 weeks. The photo shows some of the key differences in plumage between adult and juvenile. The juvenile has tufty feathers on its head whereas the adult has a naked head as bald as my own and broken bands of pink on its nape.
EquipmentNikon Z7 with Nikon 300mm PF f/4 telephoto
300mm
ISO 1600
1/1600th f5.6
LocationCoburg Lake Reserve, Coburg, Victoria
Keywordsjuvenile, feeding/with prey, adult
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