The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird species that is found across much of the world, including in Australia. It is a medium-sized bird that can grow up to 65 centimeters in length and has a distinctive long, curved bill that it uses to probe in shallow water for food. The Glossy Ibis is my favourite.
Maybe because of its colours that appear to be black from a distance but are actually a mix of green and purple when viewed up close in the right light.
The Glossy Ibis prefers wetland and floodplain habitats where it can wade in shallow water and feed on small aquatic creatures such as crustaceans, insects, and small fish.
These birds are often seen foraging in groups, using their long bills to probe the mud and shallow water for food. They are also known for their unique nesting habits, often building nests in large colonies with other waterbirds.
In Australia, the Glossy Ibis is one of three species of ibises, alongside the Straw-necked and White Ibis. While ibises are a common sight in urban areas and are known as ‘bin chickens’ due to their scavenging habits, the Glossy Ibis is most commonly found in natural wetland and floodplain habitats.
This Ibis is known as a graceful vocal glider due to its unique features and behaviors. Firstly, its graceful movements while in flight and on land have earned it the title of a graceful bird. With its long, curved bill and sleek body, the Glossy Ibis is known for its elegance and poise. When in flight, it glides effortlessly through the air, exhibiting an almost effortless beauty.
Additionally, the Glossy Ibis is known for its vocalisations, which are used to communicate with other members of its species. These vocalisations are often described as soft, guttural grunts, and are used by the birds to communicate during mating rituals and other social interactions.
Finally, the Glossy Ibis is also known for its gliding abilities. As a bird that prefers wetlands and floodplains, the Glossy Ibis is adapted to soaring and gliding over long distances. It is also known to use thermals and other updrafts to help it stay aloft, making it an impressive glider.
Despite their striking appearance and unique behaviors, Glossy Ibises are not without their challenges. They face threats such as habitat loss and degradation, pollution, and predation by introduced species.
However, conservation efforts aimed at protecting wetlands and floodplains can help ensure the survival of these stunning birds for generations to come.
Where spotted: St. Lawrence QLD