The White Ibis is one of the most common wading birds on the southeast U.S. coast. They're highly sociable and nest in large colonies close to swamps, marshes or dense thickets.
The ibis forages in shallow water, sweeping its bill from side to side and probing at the bottom. Their diet is variable, but crawfish and crabs are major items. They also eat insects, snails, frogs, marine worms, snakes, small fish.
The white ibis is about 2 feet tall and has a wingspan of about 3 feet. It is entirely white, except for its black-edged wings. Its blacked tipped wings may not be noticeable when the ibis is at rest, but they are easily seen when the ibis is in flight. It has a long, down-curved, reddish-orange bill and a reddish-orange face. It legs are long and gray, except for during breeding season when they turn reddish-orange. Young white ibis are brown on their uppersides and white on their undersides and they have brown bills and legs.
The white ibis can be found on the Atlantic Coast from Virginia south to Florida and along the Gulf Coast west to Texas. It is also found in Mexico and Central America.
Photos taken at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Natchez, Mississippi
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