IBIS , one of the sacred birds of the
See also:ancient Egyptians .
See also:Bruce identified this
See also:bird with the
See also:Abu-Hannes or "
See also:John " of the Abyssinians, and in 1790 it received from Latham (
See also:Index ornithologicus, p . 706) the name of
See also:Tantalus aethiopicus . This determination was placed beyond question by Cuvier (
See also:Ann. du Museum, iv . 116-135) and Savigny (Hist. nat. et mythol. de l'ibis) in 18o5 . They, however, removed it from the Linnaean genus Tantalus and, Lacepede having some years before founded a genus Ibis, it was transferred thither, and is now generally known as I. aethiopica, though some speak of it as I. religiosa . No attempt can here be made to treat the ibis from a mythological or antiquarian point of view . Savigny's memoir contains a
See also:deal of
See also:matter on the subject .
See also:Wilkinson (.Ancient Egyptians,
See also:ser . 2, vol . H. pp . 217-224) added some of the results of later
See also:research, and Renouf in his Hibbert Lectures explains the origin of the myth .
The ibis is chiefly an inhabitant of theNile
See also:basin from
See also:Dongola southward, as well as of
See also:Kordofan and
See also:Sennar; whence aboutmidsummer it moves northwards to
See also:Egypt.3 In
See also:Lower Egypt it bears the name of Abu-mengel, or " father of the sickle," from the
See also:form of its
See also:bill, but it does not stay long in that
See also:country, disappearing when the Nile has subsided . Hence most travellers have failed to meet with it there2 (since their acquaintance with the birds of Egypt is limited to those which frequent the country in winter), and writers have denied generally to this
See also:species a place in its
See also:fauna (cf . Shelley, Birds of Egypt, p . 261) . However, in 1864, von
See also:Heuglin (Journ. fiir Ornithologie, 1865, p. too) saw a
See also:young bird which had been shot in the
See also:Delta, and E . C .
See also:Taylor (Ibis, 1878, p . 372) saw an adult which had been killed near Lake Menzal in 1877 . The
See also:story told to
See also:Herodotus of its destroying
See also:snakes is, according to Savigny, devoid of truth, but Cuvier states that he discovered partly digested remains of a snake in the stomach of a mummied ibis . The ibis is somewhat larger than a
See also:Numenius arquata, which bird it resembles, with a much stouter bill and stouter legs . The
See also:head and greater
See also:part of the
See also:neck are
See also:bare and black . The plumage is
See also:white, except the primaries, which are black, and a black plume, formed by the secondaries, tertials and lower scapulars, and richly glossed with
See also:bronze, blue and
See also:green, which curves gracefully over the
See also:hind-quarters .
The bill and feet are also black . The young lack the ornamental plume, and in them the head and neck are clothed with
See also:short black feathers, while the bill is yellow . The
See also:nest is placed in bushes or high trees, the bird generally
See also:building in companies, and in the
See also:middle of
See also:August von Heuglin (Orn .
See also:Nord-Ost-Afrikas, p . 1138) found that it had from two to four young or much incubated eggs.' These are of a dingy white, splashed, spotted and speckled with reddish-
See also:brown . Congeneric with the typical ibis are two or three other species, the I. melanocephala of India, the I. molucca or I. strictipennis, of
See also:Australia, and the I. bernieri of
See also:Madagascar; all of which closely resemble I. aethiopica; while many other forms not very far removed from it, though placed by authors in distinct genera,' are known . Among these are several beautiful species such as the
See also:Japanese Geronticus nippon, the Lophotibis cristata of Madagascar, and the
See also:scarlet ibis,' Eudocimus ruber, of
See also:America . The glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, found throughout the West Indies, Central and the south-eastern part of
See also:North America, as well as in many parts of
See also:Europe (whence it not unfrequently strays to the
See also:British Islands), Africa,
See also:Asia and Australia . This bird, believed to be the second kind of ibis spoken of by Herodotus, is rather smaller than the sacred ibis, and mostly of a dark
See also:colour with brilliant green and
See also:purple reflections on the upper parts, exhibiting, however, when young none of the rufous
See also:hue . This species
See also:lays eggs of a deep
See also:sea-green colour, having wholly the character of
See also:heron's eggs, and it often breeds in
See also:company with herons, while the eggs of all other ibises whose eggs are known resemble those of the sacred ibis . Though ibises resemble the curlews externally, there is no
See also:affinity between them . The Ibididae are more nearly related to the storks, Ciconiidae, and still more to the spoonbills, Plataleidae, with which latter many systematists consider them to form one
See also:group, the Hemiglottides of Nitzsch .
Together thesegroups form the sub-
See also:order Ciconiae of the order Ciconiiformes . The true ibises are also to be clearly separated from the
See also:wood-ibises, Tantalidae, of which there are four or five species, by several not unimportant structural characters . Fossil remains of a true 1 It has been said to occur occasionally in Europe (
See also:Greece and
See also:southern Russia) . - 2 E . C . Taylor remarked (Ibis, 1859, p . 51), that the
See also:buff-backed heron,
See also:Ardea bubulcus, was made by the tourists' dragomans to do
See also:duty for the "sacred ibis," and this seems to be no novel practice, since by it, or something like it, Hasselqvist was misled, and through him
See also:Linnaeus . 3 The ibis has more than once nested in the gardens of the Zoological Society in
See also:London, and even reared its young there . * For some account of these may be consulted Dr Reichenow's paper in Journ. fur Ornithologie (1877), pp . 143-156; Elliot's in Proc . Zool . Society (1877), pp .
477-510; and that of Oustalet in Nouv .Arch. du Museum, ser . 2, vols . 1. pp . 167-184 . It is a popular error especially among painters—that this bird was the sacred ibis of the Egyptians . ibis, I.
See also:pagan, have been found in considerable numbers in the middle
See also:Tertiary beds of France.' (A .
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