Bird’s ID – Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis


The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. The scientific name derives from Ancient Greek plegados and Latin, falcis, both meaning “sickle” and referring to the distinctive shape of the bill.

This is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean regions of the Americas.

This species is a mid-sized ibis. It is 48–66 cm (19–26 in) long, averaging around 59.4 cm (23.4 in) with an 80–105 cm (31–41 in) wingspan. The culmen measures 9.7 to 14.4 cm (3.8 to 5.7 in) in length, each wing measures 24.8–30.6 cm (9.8–12.0 in), the tail is 9–11.2 cm (3.5–4.4 in) and the tarsus measures 6.8–11.3 cm (2.7–4.4 in). The body mass of this ibis can range from 485 to 970 g (1.069 to 2.138 lb). Breeding adults have reddish-brown bodies and shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller bodies. This species has a brownish bill, dark facial skin bordered above and below in blue-gray (non-breeding) to cobalt blue (breeding), and red-brown legs. Unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched, their flight being graceful and often in V formation. It also has shiny feathers.

Sounds made by this rather quiet ibis include a variety of croaks and grunts, including a hoarse grrrr made when breeding.

The diet of the glossy ibis is variable according to the season and is very dependent on what is available. Prey includes adult and larval insects such as aquatic beetles, dragonflies, damselflies, grasshoppers, crickets, flies and caddisflies, Annelida including leeches, molluscs (e.g. snails and mussels), crustaceans (e.g. crabs and crayfish) and occasionally fish, amphibians, lizards, small snakes and nestling birds.


 Photo Gallery



© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

20 thoughts on “Bird’s ID – Glossy Ibis

    • These birds are very shy, they avoid being exposed. They do have a greenish gloss. Thank you Ashley. 🙂

  1. Wonderful gallery of glossy ibis photos, my friend. You caught the light just right to highlight its namesake glossiness. We don’t have the pleasure of this ibis on the west coast, so these photos are especially a joy. Perhaps you sighted these on your recent Florida trip? Wherever you found them, I so appreciate that you shared them.

    • These photos were shot in Florida but previously. I went looking for them but unfortunately, the city has dredged the swamp and they are planning to build many new homes! Several places that I’ve visited are devoid of birds because they are urbanizing, fields and wet areas. Thank you so much my friend. 🙂

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