Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus


Glossy Ibis
The Glossy Ibis is the eastern cousin of the western White-faced Ibis, which it closely resembles. One sure distinguishing feature, for adult birds, is iris color of the adult bird, dark for the Glossy, red for the White-faced. White-faced in breeding plumage have a prominent border of white feathers around the eye and facial skin; the Glossy's thin bluish lines in breeding plumage are colored skin rather than feathers, and do not extend behind the eye. Both species in breeding plumage display the same beautiful palette of rich chestnut, green, and purple feathers on the body and wings.


Glossy Ibis


Glossy Ibis


Glossy Ibis
The Glossy Ibis above is molting from non-breeding to breeding plumage, with chestnut feathers beginning to replace white-margined brown ones on the neck. In full breeding plumage, shown in the three photos further up the page, the entire head and neck have chestnut feathers.


Glossy Ibis
Chestnut feathers have replaced brown on the neck, but not yet completely on the head,
where molt is still going on in March on the bird above. Seen at a distance or in less than
good light, flying Glossy (and White-faced) Ibises look black.