The beautiful Ibis
Some people are bird lovers, some are cat or dog people.
I love most animals in the world, and enjoy learning more about them – where they live – what they do. The colors, the behaviors. How much are they like us, how are they different?
This world is amazing, and we need to remember how beautiful, diverse, powerful and yet fragile it can be.
Today I was looking into a beautiful group of birds called the Ibis.
Some of the types of Ibis are white, grey, or black. Standing out is the Scarlet Ibis, who comes in shades of red and orange.
Lots of info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibis
They live in warmer climates, and use their long bills in the marsh to find small crustaceans to eat.
Their range is Florida, the West Indies, Europe, southern Asia, Australia, and Africa, North and South America. They have been hunted for food, and their feathers. They are no longer found in Egypt, but were very important to the ancient culture there (see excerpt below).
There are 28 current species if Ibis, and 2 extinct species.
They are graceful to watch.
They nest above in trees.
Interesting ancient history connection found at http://animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/ibis-info.htm
Which Bird Can Be Found in Ancient Tombs?
The ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods and goddesses. One of their most beloved gods was named Thoth (thohth or toht). Thoth was the patron of writing, astronomy, mathematics, law, magic, and healing. He was often drawn having the body of a man and the head of an ibis.
Ancient Egyptians mummified, or preserved, dead ibises and gave them as offerings to the gods. To mummify an ibis, the body of the dead bird was wrapped in many layers of cloth bandages. Some ibis mummies were placed in ibis-shaped coffins. Archaeologists have found large numbers of mummified ibises in ancient Egyptian sites.
The species of ibis most commonly mummified by the ancient Egyptians was the sacred ibis. The sacred ibis has white feathers and a bare black skin on its head and neck. This bird was common in Egypt during ancient times. It still lives today in many areas of Africa.
Ibises belong to the family Threskiornithidae. The sacred ibis is Threskiornis aethiopicus; the glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus; the white-faced ibis, P. chihi; the white ibis, Eudocimus albus; the scarlet ibis, E. ruber.
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