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Northern Bald Ibis

Discover Sanliurfa, home of Kelaynak Birds


Turkish Northern Bald Ibis

Northern Bald Ibis is known as Kelaynak in Turkey and these species are almost being extinct in the world. The colony of the Northern Bald Ibis lives only in Birecik district of Sanliurfa province, on the Euphrates in southeastern part of Turkey.

Turkey's Kelaynak Birds

Bald Ibis birds are endangered in Turkey and recently, draw attention worldwide, also known as Kelaynak in Turkish. For this, scientific researches and projects about these birds are important to perevent generation, reproduce and promotion.

Northern Bald Ibis (Kelaynak) is a large black bird with its featherless head and neck and a long curved red beak, living in semi deserted or rocky habitats. The rest of their body is covered with dark purple feathers.

Symbol of Fertility: According to a legend, Northern Bald Ibis (Kelaynak), one of the first birds Noah's released from the Ark, symbolize fertility.

The monogamous Bald Ibis pairs for life, and each year returns to Birecik, Sanliurfa after its annual migration around Valentine's Day.

Life of Bald Ibis

Northern Bald Ibis lives in colonies nesting and mating on the steep rock cliffs to protect themselves and their eggs from wild animals and humans. They lay between 2 and 4 eggs and eat mainly insects, beetles, lizards, snails, worms, ants, small snakes and scorpions by probing with their long beak into cracks in the soil.

Birecik and its surroundings are the habitat of critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis. This bird reaches maturity when around five years old. Their average lifespan is about 25-30 years.

Migration to Birecik

Northern Bald Ibis comes to Birecik in February and begin to nest around the middle of May. After breeding and rearing their young, they leave Birecik in July.

Breeding Station: A breeding station was established in 1972 by the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks to protect the endangered birds. A group of birds were set free in 2007 in the hope of promoting natural migratory behavior.

Northern Bald Ibis Birds, Turkey

Kelaynak Birds, Birecik, Sanliurfa