An Australian symbol, the Australian White Ibis are almost ubiquitous in cityscapes, as well as wetlands. These birds are very similar in appearance to it’s sister species, the Egyptian Sacred Ibis. In Australia there is also the Straw-necked Ibis and the more rarer Glossy Ibis.The order also includes the Spoonbill, which is identifiable by its beak.
To agriculturalists, ibises are regarded as one of the most useful and valuable of birds due to the large quantities of crop-damaging grasshoppers and other insects they consume. They are also fond of human scraps and, like seagulls, may be a common sight scavenging at a bin, park or dump. Sacred, highly adaptive, the butt of jokes and a nuisance – Ibis is many things!
“The gift of the Australian white ibis to other birds, plants and animals is the message it brings: ‘I am here because my home environment is no longer adequate for my needs.'” – source. Could you look more deeply at how environmental issues influence you, or your environment? Has there been a shift in your life that needs deeper examination?
These birds may be seen in large flocks or, alternatively, foraging alone. Sociable birds, Ibis often feed and nest side-by-side with other species in the family. Some appear to be very dirty and shabby, while others seem more clean and immaculate. Each of these descriptions are places to explore in your attitudes and ideas if it ‘stands out’ and resonates – how do you see this aspect of Ibis reflected in you, your life or environment?
Themes around personal beliefs, spirituality and purity may be questioned and examined, if Ibis has struck your life with an impact. Will you live up to your ideals? Although common, Ibis can be a beautiful affirmation of your spiritual identity, and a reminder to regularly take a dip in the stream of your consciousness – especially if things seem drab. Are your thoughts in common with the larger group, or are you presently foraging alone for sustenance? It may be time to take another path and change your pattern. If you are prone to solitude, then meet with others, and vice versa. This bird is a good symbol to place where you can see it (i.e. a feather, drawing or photograph), to remind you of divine beauty beneath the grot, or whatever personal meaning you glean from this bird.
If you see a flock of Ibis flying in v-formation, be aware of your own personal direction and ability to lead or direct. Like the point in the v, you can move forward, knowing the support of others is behind you. A symbol of victory and leadership, keep up a winner’s attitude!
As Ibis can become a pest in certain areas, one method of control their population is egg oiling – click here – the eggs do not hatch, the Ibis do not return to that nesting site the following year – what do you think of this?
The National Australian White Ibis Community Survey is here.
Here’s an hilarious take on ibis by Bondi Hipsters. (Language warning!)