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Glossy Ibis

Silhouette IbisIbis
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
  • ORDER: Pelecaniformes
  • FAMILY: Threskiornithidae

Basic Description

At distance, Glossy Ibises look uniformly dark, but a close look in good light reveals stunning colors: deep maroon, emerald, bronze, and violet. This long-legged, long-billed bird forages in flocks through wetlands and wet agricultural fields, searching for insects, small fish, and seeds. The birds are somewhat nomadic, dispersing widely after the nesting season—a tendency that has aided the species in the past 100 years as it has expanded its range from the southeastern U.S. to include much of eastern North America.

More ID Info
image of range map for Glossy Ibis
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Look for Glossy Ibises in shallow freshwater wetlands, as well as brackish and saltwater wetlands, mangroves, and rice fields. Over much of its range, Glossy Ibises can be seasonal or very local, so asking local birders can help locate one. Look for a tall bird (or ​flock of birds) foraging slowly in open wetlands or flying with neck and feet outstretched. A spotting scope (often carried by bird walk leaders) can be very useful in getting better views of this often faraway species.

Other Names

  • Morito Común (Spanish)
  • Ibis falcinelle (French)
  • Cool Facts