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The hadeda is a large, grey-to-partly brown species of ibis with a narrow, white, roughly horizontal stripe across its cheeks.
The plumage over the wings has an iridescent purple sheen.
Juveniles lack the purple sheen and are duller than the adults.
The bird has a large grey-to-black bill with a red stripe on the upper mandible. The legs are blackish and the upper surfaces of the toes are a similar red.
Wings are powerful and broad, enabling quick take-offs and easy manoeuvring through dense tree cover.
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