The vivid black-and-white markings of the African sacred ibis certainly ensure that this bird stands in stark contrast to the greens, browns and blues of the South African landscapes. They have the same silhouette as their hadeda relatives but are undoubtedly set apart by their plumage. The sacred ibis’ body is almost completely white, with black feathers on its rump. The wings are edged with a black outline, which is only really visible when the birds extend their wings in flight. These wings also have some bare areas, in which the pink skin shows, both on the top and on the bottom. The neck and head are bald and black, as are the legs and feet. A long curved beak gives the bird a dramatic appearance. Young birds have a smaller beak and their white plumage still looks a little dirty, in comparison with the adults. In addition, they retain some feathers on their necks.
The photo was taken during June 2017 at De Kleine Serengeti, Dinokeng, Gauteng, South Africa.