GLOSSY IBIS

GLOSSY IBIS(Plegadis falcinellus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Glossy Ibis is a wading bird with a reddish-brown body, and dark green-blue wings. The feathers are shiny (hence the name). The sickle-shaped bill is long and dark grey-brown. The legs are grey.  Sexes are similar. Non-breeding adults have duller colors. This bird measures around 60 cm (24 inches) long, which makes him a medium sized ibis.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Plegadis-falcinellus
NAME: The English name ‘Glossy’ refers to the shiny plumage of this bird. The name ‘Ibis’ would have an Egyptian origin (Choate). The Latin genus name ‘plegadis’ is from Greek and means ‘sickle’, in reference to the bill shape. As for the Latin species name ‘falcinellus’, it means ‘little sickle’.
HABITAT: Shallow wetlands, either brackish or freshwater.
DIET: Insects and crayfish. The bird digs into the mud and shallow water with its specialized bill. May also feed on small reptiles (snakes) and fish.
NESTING: Breeds in colonies that may also include other wading species. The nest is built on a platform on emergent vegetation in a well-concealed area. Around three light blue eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks are also fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: The glossy ibis is an Old World species that is believed to have settled along the east coast of the United States from Africa in the 1800s, navigating on trade winds. From there it gradually expanded its new territory, and now some individuals have been observed as far north as the coasts of Maine and Nova Scotia (Cape Sable Island). There is also a small population in northern South America.
Old World : Breeding range includes parts of Middle East and south west Asia. Spreading to Spain and the UK. Year-round range covers Africa, Australia and Indonesia. Non-breeding populations are found in southeast Asia.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossy_ibis#/media/File:Plegadis_falcinellus_map.svg
ON PEI:  There was a rare sighting on Prince Edward Island in 2014 (see photo/video below). The species doesn’t breed on the island. This bird may have been blown off course by a storm.
CONSERVATION: Glossy ibises have a widespread range and are not currently considered at risk.
SIMILAR SPECIES: White Ibis (juvenile)
REFERENCES: http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/glossyibis.htm (New Hampshire PBS)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossy_ibis
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Glossy_Ibis/id
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/glossy-ibis
http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Plegadis-falcinellus

Glossy Ibis - Priest Pond estuary, PEI - Lois Kilburn
Glossy Ibis – Priest Pond estuary, PEI – Sept. 9, 2014 © Lois Kilburn

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