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Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus

Length: 22 to 24 inches Wingspan: 36 inches Seasonality: Rare Visitor
ID Keys: Dark overall, long strongly curved bill, bluish-black facial skin

Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellusThe Glossy Ibis is virtually identical to its close relative, the White-faced Ibis, and extreme care should be taken when trying to differentiate between the two.  However, while the White-faced Ibis can be common in parts of the state (primarily the Northeast), the Glossy Ibis is normally only found near the Gulf Coast and southern Atlantic Coast.  "The Birds of South Dakota" (SDOU 2002) lists only a single sighting of this species within the state.

Habitat: Generally found in wetland habitats, including fresh- or salt-water marshes, estuaries, shallow edges of lakes and ponds, and flooded lands.   Generally nests in trees and shrubs around water.

Diet: Large numbers of insects and insect larvae are eaten, mostly aquatic insects, but some terrestrial.  When available, crayfish may be the primary diet item.  Other items include fish, frogs and toads, crustaceans, mollusks, leeches, and snakes.

Behavior: Forages by probing in mud for food as they wade.  They will also pick up visible items on water or land surfaces.

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota.

Song: Low grunts, some higher-pitched squeaks.

Migration: Birds in the northern part of its normal range move southward in the winter.  Those in more tropical areas are year-round residents.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Glossy Ibis sightings

Similar Species: White-faced Ibis

Conservation Status: North American populations have expanded dramatically in the 20th century.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Glossy Ibis

2) Audubon Guide - Glossy Ibis

3) Glossy Ibis

Photo Information: June 23rd, 2005 -- Chincoteague, Virginia -- Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Glossy Ibis photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Glossy Ibis - Range Map
South Dakota Status: The SDOU's "Birds of South Dakota (2001) lists only 1 sighting of the species, in Brown County in 2001. 

Additional Glossy Ibis Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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