Australian White Ibis

Australian White Ibis are native wetland birds that have readily adapted to life in urban environments. They feed in urban areas such as dams, artificial lakes, parklands, sports ovals, schools and foreshores and have become accustomed to the presence of humans.

Australian White Ibis facts

The Australian White Ibis has gained national attention through its cultural labelling as the ‘Bin Chicken’ due to its grubby appearance. However, its dirty appearance is due to its physiological functions and physical traits. The Australian White Ibis does not possess the tools for preening itself.

  • Ibis lack the pectinate’ claw on the middle toe of each foot.
  • Its long beak is less nimble to complete the fine work of cleaning individual feathers
  • They do not have special down feathers that produce a fine, keratin-based powder, that gives many birds their glossy/shiny appearance.

Whether the Australian White Ibis is within its natural wetland environment or urban park, they will maintain this dirty appearance that has afforded them the name ‘Bin Chicken’.

What is council currently doing?

Moreton Bay Regional Council currently implements an adaptive management strategy, including manipulating urban habitats, restricting artificial food supplies, and management throughout the breeding seasons, that aims to achieve an equilibrium within the Australian White Ibis population in the region.

What can residents do?

Managing Ibis populations and behaviours in urban environments can be achieved through:

  • cleaning up recreational cooking and eating areas within parks after use
  • Not feeding Australian White Ibis or any other wildlife
  • Limit access to food sources such as pet food and waste.