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White-Faced Ibis

Yesterday we headed to Antelope Island, which appears to be sponsored by Chevron.  Hmm.

(photo by Jon)

Antelope Island is very dry.  It looks completely different from the last time we visited.  There hasn’t been a real rain in Utah since May.

To reach the island, you drive down a long causeway.  That’s where the real action is.  I have never seen so many ibis.

Last May was the first time I got a good look at an ibis.  And yesterday I had my fill!  The white portion on the ibis’ face is very very small.  Do you see the white along his brow line?

Here is a view of their red eyes.

Here is a view of their giant feet.  This guy was itchy.

Before this I had seen plenty of ibis, but they wouldn’t let you get too close.  So I have a lot of pictures of ibis flying away from me.

When they leave because you disturbed them, they make a very low grunt.  The picture below is not the best picture of the ibis, but it’s a beautiful picture of his poop!  It’s artistic.

I was able to get much closer yesterday because the ibis are brave in large numbers.  No one flew away from me.  Ibis eat by moving their beak in shallow waters to glean out invertebrates.

Avocets have curved beaks for the same purpose, but theirs curve upwards.

Lastly, I’m not sure if this is a juvenile ibis.  I can’t find any support for an ibis having those white spots on the neck, but everything else about him screams ibis.  If anyone knows what this is, please leave a comment.

9 Responses to “White-Faced Ibis”

  1. dguzman says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of ibises! (ibis?) This is gonna sound nutty, seeing as how this is in Utah, but the white on his throat is just like that on a juvenile Glossy Ibis (1st fall, in my Nat Geo Birds of North America). None of the other juvie ibises have that but, even counting the westerly fringes of the Glossy’s range (at least in my book), that’s waaaayyyy far west for a Glossy. His feathering/dark color certainly say “Glossy,” as does his dark brown bill. Maybe he’s just way out west? Just the other day, I saw a juvenile White-faced Ibis out here in Central PA — a lot of confused young birds out there!

    I’ll be curious to see if anyone else comments and has other ideas.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I was wondering that, Delia. And then I looked at the migration path and thought I must be crazy. Be crazy with me!

  3. Tiffany says:

    Your White-Faced Ibis arial poo photo is a masterpiece – love it!

    Interesting about the possible sighting of a Glossy. I found this…. so it’s likely neither of you are crazy.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks! I was looking at the photo all disappointed because he’s not in focus, and then I saw the poo!

    That is so exciting Tiffany. I’ve dreamed of being one of those people who reports new sightings to the official committee but because I’m such a beginner, I haven’t had the chance. Now is my opportunity!

  5. kathiesbirds says:

    Oh, I love Antelope island and you so make me miss that place! I am hoping to come back up there for a visit before I return to the east coast. Good spotting on that juvie glossy (if that is what it is.)

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Kathie! Farmington Bay and Antelope Island are such wonderful bird resources. If you do make it here and you have time, please let me know. I’ve love to meet up.

  7. Tiffany says:

    Very exciting Liz!! Please keep us updated :-).

  8. Ibis and Iguana…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I sent the pictures in to Utahbirds.org, but I haven’t heard anything yet. I’ll let you know if anything comes of it.