Hadeda Ibis

Bostrychia hagedash

In Johannesburg, and on the beaches and savannas of southern Africa, it is the hadeda ibis, not the rooster, whose song, if it can be called that, announces morning. Har-har-har, he calls. Loud, raucous, guttural, the hadeda’s cacophonous call sounds like drunk men laughing. Har-har-ha-de-da.

Imagine a middle-aged man, grumpy and barrel-chested. He drinks too much, yells too often, laughs a lot but is quick to anger. Now put feathers on him and stick him in a tree. Give him avian vision, a long curved bill, and a Red Sox fan’s hoarse yawp—and hello, hadeda.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Anthony Schneider

Anthony Schneider is the author of Tony Soprano on Management. He was born in South Africa and now lives in New York.

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