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The waldrapp ibis (Geronticus eremita) name, Geronticus, is derived from the Ancient Greek, meaning old man and refers to the bald head of the aged – while waldrapp is German for forest crow. Also known as the northern bald ibis or hermit ibis, it is a migratory bird found in barren, semi-desert or rocky habitats, often close to running water. It has a bare face and head, with red skin and a red beak. It was once widespread across the Middle East, northern Africa, southern and central Europe, with a fossil record dating back at least 1.8 million years. It disappeared from Europe over 300 years ago, and is now considered critically endangered. It is found in Morocco and Syria with reintroduction sites in Austria, Spain and Turkey. Waldrapp ibis are a social species living in large, loose groups, breeding in colonies and building nests of loose sticks on rocky outcrops and cliffs. The Waldrapp ibis is usually silent – a rare phenomenon in the bird world. Communication is by hisses and grunts when at the nest and in display.
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