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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.