Family Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Critically Endangered

Dwarf Ibis (Bostrychia bocagei)


French: Ibis de Sao Tomé German: Sao-Tome-Ibis Spanish: Ibis enano
Other common names: Dwarf Olive Ibis, Sao Tome Ibis

Lampribis bocagei


, 1923,

Rio de São Tomé, São Tomé


Sometimes placed in genus Lampribis, together with B. rara. Usually considered conspecific with B. olivacea; phenotypic distinctions difficult both to identify and to quantify owing to small sample sizes of specimens and paucity of photographs, but differs in its very small size (tail length 92 [n=1 female] vs 174 [n=4 females]) (4); facial pattern mid-grey-blue, with no dark marking on lores (2); reduced gloss on wings (1); duller body plumage (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C & S São Tomé I (along Io Grande, Ana Chaves, São Miguel, Xufexufe and probably Quija catchments).

Descriptive notes

c. 50 cm. Leg colour variable. Dark facial skin and crest separate from other members of Bostrychia. Upperparts blackish brown glossed bronze-green, with metallic... read more


Said to be mostly silent, only occasionally delivering an equally stressed “kàh-gàh kàh-gàh”,... read more


Confined to primary forest below 450 m, although suitable habitat could extend up to 800 m. Most... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on invertebrates, snails and slugs, foraged on forest floor in areas of bare ground or with sparse undergrowth of herbaceous plants,... read more


Little known. Breeding is in the wet season. Two nests found in late November each contained two eggs. The nests were of twigs lined with... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in São Tomé EBA. Not known ever to have been common, declined markedly after most of forest on island converted to... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Garcia, E.F.J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Dwarf Ibis (Bostrychia bocagei). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 5 April 2020).