Sunday, February 18, 2018

Glossy Ibis

The breeding glossy ibis, which I saw in January 2018 at Merritt Island, is a palate of colors, although in bad light it can look quite drab. It has a brownish to flesh color bill, a Persian red body and legs, and metallic green wings that reflect iridescent abalone shell colors, including turquoise and purple. The face is dark with cobalt-blue lines extending from the bill to the eye (but not around the eye) and bordering the face.  The non-breeding bird is much duller and the facial lines are a blue-gray. Juveniles are even duller and have white-streaking on the head and neck. 

It is found in peninsular Florida and along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida and the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida, although year-round only from mid-North Carolina to Florida. 
I also saw the glossy ibis in the Orlando Wetlands Park and it did not see as colorful, perhaps not as far along in its breeding plumage.

1 comment:

  1. I love the reflective wing feathers that look like pieces of an abalone shell. This is another bird where it's hard believe it lives in the States and not in some more exotic locale.