Ibis skein

Australian White Ibis – Threskiornis molucca

Straw-necked Ibis – Threskiornis spinicollis

(Birds of Drouin and District booklet Page 42) and

(Birds of Drouin and District booklet Page 68)


Size: 60-80cm

Australian White Ibis: Sexes alike, all white body, black head and lacy tail plumes, whitish breast plumes when breeding.

Straw-necked Ibis: Sexes alike, black head, white nape and throat, glossy black back and white belly straw-like breast plumes when breeding.


Both birds have a call described as hoarse coughs and grunts.


Both species occupy much of the continent apart from the very arid inland.

Map (Australian White Ibis) credit: ala.org.au


Both are colony nesters. They build a rough, cup nest of sticks and reeds in trees over water or on the ground. They breed mostly from June to December.


Both the Australian White Ibis and the Straw Necked Ibis are strong colony species. When they fly to and from feeding grounds, they often form long lines or vee-shapes called skeins. They both occupy wetlands, irrigated paddocks, sewerage farms, playing fields, garbage tips and mud flats. Often, both species are seen feeding together. They probe for invertebrates and molluscs and sometimes take carrion. Both birds are relatively common, often abundant and can be sedentary and dispersive.