Family Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)


Madagascar Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis bernieri)


French: Ibis malgache German: Hellaugenibis Spanish: Ibis malgache
Other common names: Malagasy Sacred Ibis

Ibis bernieri


, 1855,



Usually considered conspecific with T. aethiopicus; differs in whitish or pale blue vs dark brown iris (3); reduced or non-existent black tips on wings (2); bluish-slate vs purplish-slate tertials (1); and differently structured ornamental neck-sacs and different display (2)#R. Also closely related to T. melanocephalus and T. moluccus, and in past all were occasionally considered conspecific. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. b. bernieri (Bonaparte, 1855) – Madagascar.
  • T. b. abbotti (Ridgway, 1893) – Aldabra I.
  • Descriptive notes

    Both bernieri and abbotti resemble the African Sacred Ibis (T. aethiopicus) but are more slender-billed, lack black trailing edge to wings, and... read more


    Believed similar to African Sacred Ibis.


    Considered to be ecologically more restricted than the African Sacred Ibis. In Madagascar it occurs... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes a wide range of invertebrate prey as well as occasional frogs, reptiles and young birds.


    Breeding has been observed in Madagascar at the start of the wet season, in November and December. Nests in trees or bushes or on bare... read more


    Sedentary, nesting and roosting near its feeding grounds.

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Race bernieri uncommon and declining largely due to unsustainable harvesting of its eggs, disturbance of nest-sites and degradation of wetland habitats,... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Madagascar Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis bernieri). 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 9 April 2020).