Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Those Birds

In New York City and London you see tons of pigeons.  They're everywhere.

In Sydney, there might be pigeons.  I don't remember. But the prevalent bird is the Ibis.

They're everywhere.

I did a lot of research about Australia before we left for our holiday. I don't remember reading anything about the Ibis. I read about parrots and Kookaburras.

No Ibis.

And suddenly there they were.

My cousin asked me if I knew what they were.

I had no idea. She said she figured I would know since I seemed to know so much about Australia.

Why is this bird kept such a secret?

Are the Australians ashamed of the Ibis?


I love animals, but this bird is a bit hard to love.

Jack and I were at first enthusiastic about the whole thing. I love anything that makes Australia different from North America.   Christmas in summer instead of winter.Vegemite instead of peanut butter.  Ibises instead of pigeons.

You're not supposed to feed the Ibis--well according to some signs posted.  We ignored the rules.  Once. We learned or lesson.

The Ibis is very aggressive. Oh, I hate to stereotype, but I kind of think it's true.  Okay?

One flew down while Jack was eating and grabbed a piece of turkey right out of Jack's hand. A bit rude if you ask me.

I witnessed a worse crime by another Ibis.   He stuck his head in the garbage can to find food and ended up scattering bits of litter all around the grass.    For the rest of the holiday, when I saw litter around, I could no longer silently curse other tourists for trashing Australia.  For all I knew the guilty party may very well have been a bird.

Despite it's unethical behavior, the Ibis is beautiful and graceful looking. He's very photogenic.

Okay, there I got the obligatory positive statement out there.

Now for more bad stuff.

The Ibis poops too much. I think Sydney needs to invest in some toilets for these guys. It gets a bit gross.

A popular hang out for the Ibis is the playground in Darling Harbor. So there is poop everywhere.   You can't really sit or stand anywhere without coming into contact with the white stuff.

Once I sat with my friend Michelle.  We chatted as we watched our children play on the climbing equipment.  An Ibis came over and pooped on my backpack.

I was disgusted but Michelle cheered me up.  She said it could be souvenir.

It sounded so much better when put in that context. I wiped it off a bit--well, because keeping it completely there might be a bit too gross.  

Thank you, Mr. Ibis.   I treasure the gift you gave me and the faint leftovers that are still on my backpack.      


  1. This made me think of you. No ibis just whales + Australia

  2. Never feed the ibis!!!

    They're an introduced species and have reached plague proportions not just in Sydney, but in Brisbane as well.

    In fact, the Brisbane City Council brought in some trained eagles - they weren't allowed to kill the ibis, but they were allowed to fly around to try and scare them off. Personally, I think they should've let them loose and let nature take its course.

    I much rather ibis than pigeons though.

  3. they are pains.

    They are prevalent around the Gold Coast too, in southern Queensland I have noticed.

    Scavenging critters, they seem to be quite good at feeding of human refuse.

    Always hanging out at garbage dumps.

  4. Ah, the ibis. Serious pests, ridiculous to look at, but there's something strangely likeable about them.

    And we have plenty of pigeons too!

  5. You officially just crossed over into weird! :P

    Welcome to australia mate ;) lmao

  6. Ibis are everywhere and I think we see them so often we think of them like pigeons.
    A really graceful, beautiful Aussie bird to watch is the Brolga, a member of the crane family.
    When they dance it's just a lovely thing to watch.
    And yep, a bird pooping on you is considered good luck lol.

  7. Darcy: Thanks for the link. Hey, did you see my comments about your video. I'm very impressed with your work!

    Incognitrix: I fed the Ibis because I was so eager to make new friends. But I learned my lesson. How did they tell the eagles not to kill the Ibis? Did they send out rulebooks or something?

    Tribog: Annoying, but look at the bright side. They're eating human refuse....they're NOT eating humans. We can be thankful for that because eating humans would not be good for Australian tourism.

    Gina: I have a tendency to have a soft spot for pests. Like cockroaches. They're really gross, but it's kind of cute how one of them comes out of hiding to greet you.

    Bettina: I thought I had crossed over into weird a long time ago ; )

    Jayne: Is it still good luck if the bird poops on your backpack and not you directly? I wonder if certain types of bird poop gives you certain types of luck. Maybe some types of birds provide luck in finances and other birds provide luck in love/romance.

    Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

  8. hmmmm cant say i have ever really noticed the ibis. We dont have many down where i live.

  9. I thought those ibis were Australian, from the Northern Territory. We have them in Perth now. The ones I see pecking around in the back yard are fairly timid. I think they're like any critter - they'll become as impertinent as you encourage them to be. A bit like dingoes...but we won't talk about that :).

  10. Maybe it's an ignore it and hope it goes away kind of thing?

    The Ibis is a truly bothersome creature. I think they get overlooked a lot - you never really see them flying about much so perhaps that's why. They just poke about and feed.

  11. Ibis' are ugly things. And smelly. Ugliest heads on any bird. And ignorant? They just don't understand the phrase "Get the f**k out of my picnic you ugly bastardofabird!"

    We do have loads of pigeons and seagulls, all the usual suspect scavengers. I never realised Ibises were unusual.

  12. Rinniez: Maybe I'll kidnap a few and bring them to Canberra when we visit there.

    Retarius: You're probably right. The Ibis are probably agressive because crazy tourists like us were stupid and fed them.

    Catatonic Kid: They are annoying. I'd probably like them more if they pooped less. Or at least used a toilet or something.

    Lee: They might not be unusual. I just haven't seen them here in America. There are different types of Ibises....we might have them here. They're just not prevalent. Well, as far as I know.

    I don't think they're ugly...well, until you get to know them. On the surface, they're quite lovely. It's their personality that not quite attractive.

  13. The eagles were trained like falcons, I believe (like when you go falconing...). But perhaps I'm remembering it wrong... eagles were the solution to the problem, whether they were allowed to kill the ibis or not :)

  14. BAHAHAHA u r hilarious! not only do they poo and eat everything in sight, they stink!! Now I'm not weird i don't go up and sniff them you can smell them from like 100 metres away.. that might be a little exhaggerated but I dunno because their everywhere here in Brisbane.. almost as bad as the cane toad plague.. all the best for your new discoveries is australia- Dani

  15. Dani,

    I never noticed the smell. Now I'm probably going to end up spending my whole time in Australia trying to sniff the damn Ibis.

    Maybe Ibis is like Asparagus and know how only some people can smell the weird smell it gives urine??

  16. ibis angry at people why they steal tucker!!

    lisa chappell is niceer than ibbis