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Hadeda Harassment

October 20, 2010

Read that any which way you want.  For those of you who live in South Africa (or Sudan, Senegal, Ehtiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Gambia, Somali…) I don’t need to say more.  You are nodding your heads, laughing and/or swearing.  😀

For those of you who don’t and might not know, hadedas are ubiquitous, sleek, gangly, very, Very noisy birds that look a bit like pterydactyls with shimmery feather wings, poking their beaks in where they’re not always wanted, pulling up earthworms like bits of elastic, shrieking their early morning wake-up calls with garish flourish.  Profusely they populate our parks, gardens, roofs & skies, announcing their passage to anyone who cares and to all those who don’t too.

Any guesses where they got their name?  Ha!  Ha!  Haaaaaaa!  Ha?

They sound like this.

They look like this:

Sources:  Wikipedia (Lip Kee Yap), Outdoor Photo (Lance Groenewald), 350 Bird Photo challenge, Trek Nature (Johann Fouce).

The Hadada Ibis is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  I find that rather funny – depending on the time of morning.  They might want to reeavluate that.  I found this Facebook group:

Name: Shoot the Hadeda Ibis
Category:  Just for Fun – Totally Random
Description: This group is a protest against the Hadeda Ibis which makes way too much noise, our goal is to make the Hadeda an endangered species!! Shoot them!!!
Privacy type:  Open:  All content is public.
The Hadada Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash is a large, up to 76 cm long, dark brown ibis with a white “moustache”, glossy greenish purple wings, large black bill with a red stripe on upper mandible, and blackish legs.  And makes a hell of a noise!!!
Shoot them!!
Seriously?  That’s a bit extreme.   Though I am not without sympathy.  🙂
One year we were very excited to watch a pair of hadedas build a scraggly nest in the Flamboyant tree.  It was National Geographic in our garden!  What’s up with the red bit?  There’s always a red bit.  We watched as five scruffy little balls of fluff, voraciously fishing out earthworms from mom and dad’s gullets, quickly grew to adult size, if not dexterity.  Mom and dad took turns, one staying behind, the other flying off to search for the next meal, taking longer and longer than would seem necessary (though I don’t blame them.)  It was very funny watching the stay-at-home parent lift off and away (Ha! Ha!) before the returning parent reached the tree – stopping first for a rest on the roof before the ensuing ordeal of disgorgement.  Eventually both flew off together, greeting other to-and-fro mom and dad hadedas loudly.  This left the waiting juvenile ha-s with options.  Staying put turned out to be not that much fun.  Then came much wing stretching and flapping.  And eventually, venturing out.

The following year we were somewhat excited.

The following year we thought, “Buggerit.  You guys are cute but loud.  Go find another tree.”

They still make a lot of noise to-and-fro-ing overhead, stopping on the roof en-route their loud hadeda business, checking out the garden from the tree, occasionally rummaging in the lawn until the dogs spot them, eager to chase them off.  But at least now they are visitors and not neighbours, living  just outside our bedroom window.  Ha!  Phew!  Yay!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angie permalink
    October 20, 2010 11:46 am

    Ok so that made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hahaha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadeeda

  2. February 28, 2011 10:47 am


    As I understand it the Hadeda mates for life. If you shoot one the other one will suffer in many ways. To me they are of the most interesting of the bird species. When they walk about (in that ungainly waddle) in my little garden, scratching and screeching, I see it as an honour.

    Don’t shoot ’em. Like all of us, they too have a right to live.

    N ♥

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