American White Ibis
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – FAKAHATCHEE STRAND, FL
American White Ibis Trivia:
American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) is a species of wading bird of the ibis family Threskiornithidae which occurs from the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States south through most of the New World tropics.
It occurs in marshy wetlands and pools near the coast. It also occurs on mowed grass, lawns, and has become common in some city parks, where it can be found feeding alone or with other Ibis. It builds a stick nest in trees, bushes, or over water, and 2 to 5 eggs are typically laid. White ibises are monogamous and colonial, usually nesting in mixed colonies with other wading species.
The white ibis wades in the water sweepings its heads form side-to-side in search of food. It uses its long, curved bill to probe in the mud for crabs and crayfish. It swallows its prey whole. It also forages for food on land and it may also eat insects, frogs, snails, marine worms, snakes and small fish. Flocks of white ibis will move to different locations in search of food. Other wading birds often follow behind the white ibis and catch prey that has been disturbed by the probing ibis!
Adults are 65 cm long with a 95 cm wingspan. They have all-white plumage except for black wingtips (visible in flight) and reddish bills and legs. The red bill blends into the face of breeding birds; non-breeding birds show a pink to red face.
Juveniles are largely brown with duller bare parts; they are distinguished from the Glossy and White-faced Ibises by white underparts and rumps. Over all both sexes look alike.
Like the other species of ibis, the White Ibis flies with neck and legs outstretched, often in long, loose lines.
The song of the male is an advertising hunk-hunk-hunk-hunk. The female squeals. When feeding, the birds often give a soft, grunting croo, croo, croo as they forage.
This bird hybridizes with the Scarlet Ibis, and they are sometimes considered conspecific.