Photo courtesy Curtis Miyasaka, Montgomery, AL
30 April 2008
The American White Ibis is a species of wading bird that occurs from the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States south through most of the New World tropics. Its preferred habitat is marshy wetlands and pools near the coast. It also occurs on mowed grass and has become common in some city parks. It builds a stick nest in trees, bushes, or over water, and 2 to 5 eggs are typically laid. This species is monogamous and colonial, usually nesting in mixed colonies with other wading birds.
The Ibis feeds by probing with its long, downcurved beak. Its diet consists of various fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as insects.
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 Ibis by the white underparts and rumps. Both sexes look alike.