Hadeda Ibis – a noisy garden resident

Hoppy the Hadeda

The Hadeda Ibis has become an extremely common garden bird in many areas of South Africa. Our lawns provide an ideal place for them to probe around looking crickets and other insects. Us humans have helped the Hadeda increase its range and its numbers by creating garden lawns and parks. I don’t know, however, if they are always welcomed by homeowners!

These big birds can be quite a nuisance! Firstly, they have the most raucous call which they love to make randomly during the day or night. Flocks of them are particularly good at calling during the critical part of a TV program making it impossible to hear the dialogue. Often at night something will disturb a flock and they will fly round and round making a huge racket until they decide the danger has gone. Next on the list of irritating things is their rather large droppings.

Hadeda Ibis poking around for food

Hadedas love swimming pools

I have found that Hadeda Ibises like spending time around swimming pools and they leave their droppings everywhere. By the way they will probably end up swimming in your pool. Your dogs might not appreciate them either as they love pinching pellets from their bowls. The Hadeda will carry the pellet to the dog’s water bowl to dip it in the water. Lastly, don’t be surprised if they wander into your house.

Meet Hoppy

The photo, at the top of this post, is of “our” Hadeda who we named Hoppy. He had a swelling on the joint of his left leg causing him to walk with a limp. He stayed in our garden with his mate for a number of years. We then moved house and I wondered how the new tenants would get along with Hoppy. He had all the bad habits mentioned above but was very tame and would eat out of my hand. Over the years they raised a number of chicks but also lost quite a few because of disturbance from monkeys.

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