Réunion Sacred Ibises

Réunion Sacred Ibises (Threskiornis solitarius)

The Réunion Sacred Ibises (Threskiornis solitarius) is an extinct ibis that was formerly found on the island of Réunion located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar – where it inhabited deep forests near freshwater.

The “Réunion Solitaire” was last recorded in 1705.

It was also sometimes referred to as “Réunion Flightless Ibis”, which was misleading, as this species was able to fly short distances. When threatened, it was described as initially trying to flee on foot but using its wings to glide short distances, particularly downhill.

Réunion Sacred Ibises Perched on Tree
Réunion Sacred Ibises Perched on Tree


The Réunion Sacred Ibises had a white plumage, with black wingtips and tail, and a dark, bald head. It had a black, slender and slightly down-curved bill and black legs.

Its shorter wings inhibited its ability to fly longer distances. Even though this species could still fly, based on bone measurements, it was deemed likely that the species was on its way of evolving to being flightless.

Similar Species:

It resembled the Sacred Ibis – except for being smaller and having short wings.

Réunion Sacred Ibises Standing on Green Grass
Réunion Sacred Ibis Standing on Green Grass

Diet / Feeding

Their diet consisted of invertebrates, such as worms and crustaceans which it caught or dug out of the mud with their long bills.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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