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Ibidorhynchidae – Ibisbill

Ibisbill in Bhutan: Photo by Abhishek Das

Welcome to our guides on Ibidorhynchidae, a family with a single species known as the Ibisbill. Found in high-altitude rivers and streams across South and Central Asia, this family is notable for its unique appearance and intriguing ecological adaptations.

Overview of Ibidorhynchidae

The Ibisbill stands out for its distinctive plumage and remarkable ability to blend seamlessly into its rocky surroundings. The bold markings on its breast and face allow it to merge with the river cobbles it inhabits. Often swimming across streams, Ibisbills navigate the Himalayan and Central Asian plateaus, using their down-curving bills to forage among cobbles of similar shape. This solitary bird’s remote range and elusive nature mean much of its natural history remains a mystery. While it primarily resides within its high-altitude breeding range in Asia, some individuals migrate to lower elevations during winter.