Réunion Sacred Ibises or Réunion Flightless Ibises
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 in 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.
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 species was on its way of evolving to being flightless.
It resembled the Sacred Ibis – except being smaller and having short wings.
Diet / Feeding
Their diet consisted of invertebrates, such as worms and crustaceans which it caught or dug out of the mud with its long bill.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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