Ibis (Hadada)

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Ibis, Hadada Ibis
(Hagedashia hagedash, Bostrychia hagedash)

***** Location: Kenya, Africa
***** Season: short rains, long rain
***** Category: Animal


This large bird is associated with the rainy season in Kenya, when it ventures out of its normal marshy habitat and into the town or city. In Nairobi, it is then seen probing lawns and public gardens with its long beak, as the soil becomes soft after heavy rainfall. It flies over the city, alone or in groups, voicing its unforgettable cry, and landing to overlook suburban activities from the rooftops.

Isabelle Prondzynski




Identification : 30 in, 76 cm. Entire plumage olive-grey, rather paler on underparts, head and neck; metallic green wash on back and wing coverts, conspicuous only under good viewing conditions.

Voice : One of Africa's best known bird sounds, a loud far-carrying 'har, har, har'.

Distribution and habitat : Common resident throughout Africa in suitable habitats. Frequents swamps, marshes, flooded areas, rivers with treed banks, edges of lakes and pasture.

J.G. Williams, N.Arlott, A Field Guide to Bird of East Africa, © 1980


Great link with stamps about the Ibis:


World: Afrotropical species which is widespread S of 15°N except in the drier areas of E Somalia and the SW of the continent.

Kenya: Found mainly around permanent waters close to open forest or woodland. Notably absent from suitable habitats around Lake Turkana and on Mt Marsabit.

These birds have one of the most distinctive calls of all Kenyan birds. It is a loud, raucous Haa-Haa-Haa (or Haa-Daa-Daa - hence its name) which is belted out when they are in flight. They are particularly vocal at dawn and dusk on the way from and to their overnight roosts. They may be confused with the similarly dark plumaged Glossy Ibis but even at a distance the white cheek mark is clearly visible. These birds are often found foraging on lawns.

More information here :


Worldwide use

Australian Ibis Haiku



The Crested Ibis, Toki トキ is of the Ibis Family.
Also written 桃花鳥, 鴇 or 朱鷺.
It is a kigo for all autumn.

Its country of origin is China, but it has been a subject of interest since the old Chronicles of Japan (Nihon Shoki). The German doctor Siebold (1796-1866)was the first to introduce the Japanese Toki to Europe.
A very slight pink color is called "Toki Pink" 鴇色.

The Toki (Japanese Crested Ibis) goes by the scientific name Nipponia nippon. In the past, this magnificent bird could be seen in all parts of Japan, but due to overhunting and environmental pollution in the early 20th century its number plunged until only few remained. The Toki is now on the verge of extinction. In 1952 the species was designated a Special Natural Monument, and in 1960 it was listed as an internationally protected species. Despite strenuous efforts at captive breeding, there is only one surviving native-born example of the species in Japan; this is a 25-year-old female bird named Kin which is cared for at the Toki Preservation Center on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture.

The bird was believed to have died out everywhere except in Japan, but in 1981 it was confirmed that 12 specimens were living in China. Breeding efforts paid off and the population increased year by year, to 85 birds as of July 1996. Japan and China have also been working closely to conserve the bird. For example, Japan received a male ibis on loan, in exchange for the training of Chinese breeding experts and the provision of equipment and materials for China. Unfortunately, Midori, the sole surviving native male Toki, died in April 1995.

When fully grown the Toki stands about 75 centimeters (29.5 inches) tall. Its head and legs are red, and at the top of the head are feathers that, when they stand up, form a crown-like crest. Covered with a veil of pinkish white feathers the bird is very colorful. At the Toki Preservation Center the staff are still working hard to prolong the life of the last remaining example of this species.

hatsu natsu ya toki no tamago ni toki no oya

early Summer -
the eggs of the toki
the parents of the toki


Things found on the way

Kenya uses a standard series of stamps with images of well-known Kenyan birds -- the hadada ibis graces the KShs. 100/- stamp, which is the highest denomination.

Several other African countries also feature the hadada ibis on their respective stamps :


hanging clothes
by the growing beans --
ibis watching

evening star --
forty-two ibises
fly past my home

Isabelle Prondzynski


plunging clouds -
the ibis
buries its beak

doris kasson



steady rain
the park puddle connects
the ibis to me

Alma E Bird



flying elbow-high
the ibis flock rejoins itself
ahead of me

Laura Young

The crested ibis
flies beyond the turtle's sight:
Masako follows.



ten ibis
wait on branch tips for
mist to lift

Lorne Henry (Australia)

Related words




Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this site! I enjoyed reading all the ku. No ibis where I live, I'm afrain; at least, I haven't spotted any.

one day
my birds will come
... spring evenig

:>) Ella

Gabi Greve said...

Enjoy your spring evening, maybe a stork will do ... the herons will soon be back too ...