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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

White-faced Ibis

 This year with all the flooding and high water, the White-faced ibis has invaded Madison County.  Flooded fields and pastures that have never been available for these birds to feed in still have water standing in them.  These create new feeding area for the long billed birds looking for worms and snails to feed on. 

Here a flock of ibis fly into a flooded pasture to look for food.


They are not really black, but their iridescent body and wing feathers are set off by a rusty brown back.


Flocks of over 300 would gather in fields and pastures.


Their long sensitive bill probes the flooded ground looking for lunch.  Here one finds a snail.  The trick is to get their food from the end of a six to eight inch bill into its throat.  Practice makes perfect.

21 comments:

Jill said...

Great shots!

Carol Blackburn said...

Hello Bill, wonderful shots. Isn't nature amazing?

joo said...

Beautiful set of photos! I love especially the first one!

Birding is Fun! said...

I love that last shot with the Ibis tossing back the food. Very cool!

bailey-road.com said...

Fantastic shots! The first shot is amazing!

TexWisGirl said...

the last shot is such a great catch! wonderful!

Gary said...

That doesn't look easy though!! Nice shots. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Andrew said...

A lovely bird to see.

Jean said...

It must be a cool to see flocks of this large. Super captures!

holdingmoments said...

I've never seen one of these before Bill.
A great feeding trick they have.

eileeninmd said...

Isn't it cool to see large flocks of these birds. Love the snail shot, but they are all wonderful photos.

Springman said...

A fantastic look into the habits of these specialised birds. Crazy how quickly these birds moved into Madison county. Fields still flooded? What a strange year!

Larry said...

Wonderful captures Bill! I love watching these seemingly prehistoric birds as they fly over in huge flocks and land in the shallow waters to feed.

Hilke Breder said...

Wow! Amazing photos,Bill, especially the first and the second one! Congrats!

Arija said...

Oh my goodness, al those Ibis . . . how can you pick one from another?

Farmchick said...

Excellent photos and I love that curved beak.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love these birds! We first saw them in Utah, near Bear Lake. It took me a while to figure out what they were, because white-faces are not neceessarily the first thing you notice about them ;>)

Dawn said...

Wow! What a bill to practice with! (I would have like something a bit shorter to practice with I think:)

My son came running up our hill yesterday....all VERY excited and thrilled he saw a "massive owl fly right by me!". I think it was his first "fly-by-owl" he's ever had. A Great-Horned at that. There is something so amazing being passed by a beautiful bird.

Kathiesbirds said...

Love these birds! Love the last photo of the bird with the snail in its bill!

Esther Garvi said...

Iris are such beautiful birds! We have the glossy Iris here in West Africa. Love your shots!!

Robin R Robinson said...

I've only ever seen one of these and it was a pretty big deal birding wise here in Maine. We don't get many of them. If a flock showed up we'd all crack up! Enviable shots