Any of about 20 species of medium-sized wading birds (subfamily Threskiornithinae) of the same family as the spoonbills. Ibises are found in all warm regions except on South Pacific islands. They wade in shallow lagoons, lakes, bays, and marshes, using their slender, down-curved bill to feed on small fishes and soft mollusks. Species range from 22 to 30 in. (55–75 cm) long. Ibises fly with neck and legs extended, alternately flapping and sailing. They usually breed in vast colonies.
Learn more about ibis with a free trial on Britannica.com.
The ibises (pronounced /ˈaɪbɪsɪz/) are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae. They all have long down curved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items, usually crustaceans. Most species nest in trees, often with spoonbills or herons.
The word ibis comes from Greek, originally borrowed from Ancient Egyptian hîb.