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White-faced Ibis

Silhouette IbisIbis
White-faced IbisPlegadis chihi
  • ORDER: Pelecaniformes
  • FAMILY: Threskiornithidae

Basic Description

The handsome White-faced Ibis shimmers with purple, green, and bronze plumage. Breeding adults add to this a ruby-red eye surrounded by a sharp white mask, and pink legs. Flocks of this long-legged bird forage in marshes across large parts of the American West, where wetlands are very scarce and often ephemeral. They probe their long, curving bills into moist soil, searching for earthworms and other invertebrates, typically at the edges of marshes or in wet farm fields.

More ID Info
image of range map for White-faced Ibis
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Look for White-faced Ibises in marshes or wet agricultural fields (especially alfalfa fields). In the arid western U.S., they often fly long distances to foraging areas from roosting areas, so the early morning and late afternoon are fine times to watch for them in transit. Checking wetland and field edges often produces a foraging flock; a spotting scope is useful to see fine details, such as all of the beautiful metallic tones of breeding-adult plumage.

Other Names

  • Morito Cariblanco (Spanish)
  • Ibis à face blanche (French)
  • Cool Facts