After the excitement of seeing some eggs in a nest last weekend at the ibis colony I have been visiting over the last month, I decided to drop over for another visit yesterday to see if there was any further progress.
The first thing I noticed was that the original ibis chicks I had seen on my first visit have now grown up and gone. The nest is now empty. In only 4 weeks, those two birds have gone from little chicks to flying young adults now out on their own in the big wide world.
The next thing I noticed were the young birds I saw previously in another nest. They have grown a lot in a week. Here is a photo of them a week ago ….
And this is what they look like now.
They are definitely darker in colour and starting to lose their fluffy feathers around their head and neck. I think these ones will be leaving their nest within the next fortnight.
Most exciting of all had to be the sight of new chicks! The eggs I saw last week have hatched! Yesterday, there were two nests with freshly hatched chicks. In this nest, it seems only one of the eggs have hatched. Such a cute little chick, it can only be a few days old.
Here’s a video I took of the this baby ibis all alone in its nest until its mother turned up. If you turn up the volume you should be able to hear a high pitched trill sound. I think that’s the noise the chicks make when they’re hungry.
Here’s a video of the chicks from the two eggs I photographed last time. The mother is feeding one of them. Again, you can hear the trilling from the babies.
And here’s a video of the same chick with its eyes closed. Looks like a fragile ball of fuzz.
Visiting this ibis colony has been a very eye opening experience. Many people think these birds are ugly, dirty, and a nuisance, since you usually see them eating scraps of food at the park or beach or at the rubbish dumps. My husband calls them tip ducks, but I have heard them called many other names, including bin chickens and turkey vultures. In a way it’s funny, but on the other hand, these ibis are a native bird to Australia and they have merely adapted to a new environment seeing as we humans have pushed them out of their normal wetlands home. Perhaps we should be more understanding of these creatures and start calling them by their proper name which is probably more deserved – Sacred Ibis. Seeing this bird in various stages – egg, newly hatched chick, young chick, fledging, juvenile and adult – has given me a new perspective on the ibis. I have seen the cutest fluffy chicks and parents that are very caring and protective and generally a native species that has successfully managed to survive and thrive in Man’s progressive development and destruction of natural habitats.
This is my last progress update on the ibis colony. Now I know where they are, I might drop in for a visit once in awhile and see how they’re all going. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my photos and videos of the life cycle of this amazing bird – the Sacred Ibis.
Good luck little one!