Saturday, October 15, 2016

Glossy Ibis

Glossy or White-faced?  It was difficult for me to decide which group of Ibis these birds belong to.  I looked at scores of online photos and read information on them from several online birding articles.  I zoomed the images in as far as I could, looking for the subtle clue to the right answer.  I changed my mind at least a dozen times.  Finally, I concluded that they, more than likely, are Glossy Ibises. One reason I made this decision is because the white lines around the eye do not appear to meet behind the eye; whereas, on the white-faced ibis, the white feathers encircle the back of the eye.  Another difference I noticed is leg color- where the glossy ibis has gray colored legs with dark pink knees, the white-faced ibis has pink colored legs with darker pink knees.  Identification by leg color is more difficult though during non-breeding season.  If you're familiar with this bird species I ask that you check out my photos below and give me your opinion- it would be most appreciated.  

The glossy ibis can most commonly be found along the east coast of the United States from Maine to Texas. It spends winter from the Carolinas south to Florida and along the Gulf Coast to Texas. It is also found in Central America, South America, Africa, southern Eurasia and Australasia.  The glossy ibis is seen in a variety of wetlands including marshes, estuaries, coastal bays, flooded fields and swamps where it probes in the mud and silt with its bill looking for prey like the fiddler crab, crawfish, insects and small snakes. 

Photos taken at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge