Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus




Ibises and Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Colonial

Egg Color:

Pale blue or green

Number of Eggs:

1 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Marshes and brushy thickets.

Nest Material:

Marsh vegetation.





Glossy Ibis: Small ibis with dark chestnut head, neck, upper back, and underparts; wings, lower back, and tail are iridescent bronze, green, and purple, but often look black from a distance; head has dark blue-black bare facial skin bordered above and below with white, dark eyes, and a long, pinkish-gray decurved bill; legs and feet dull grayish. Sexes are similar. Non-breeding adult is like breeding adult except duller overall, white streaking on head and neck, and gray facial skin. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but browner overall, not as glossy, and with white feathers on foreneck. Flight is direct, alternating strong wing beats with short glides, with head extended and legs dangling. Probes mud feeling for insects, worms, larvae, crustaceans, and amphibians.

Range and Habitat

Glossy Ibis: Most common in marshes and wetlands along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts; occasionally wanders inland. Scattered populations occur in and around the Caribbean Basin on the Yucatan Peninsula and northern Venezuela; also widespread in Eurasia, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and Australia.

Breeding and Nesting

Glossy Ibis: One to five pale blue or green eggs are laid in a shallow cup of reeds, lined with grass, and built in a low bush, usually in a marsh. Nests in large colonies, often with other wading birds. Eggs are incubated for 21 days by both parents. Juveniles leave the nest in as soon as 8 days but do not fly until 28 days old.

Foraging and Feeding

Glossy Ibis: Diet consists of crayfish and other invertebrates, as well as frogs, fish, and plants; eats crabs on the coast. Forages by probing mud with its long bill; often forages in flocks of dozens to hundreds of birds.


Glossy Ibis: Flight calls are low grunts such as as "graa..graa..graa" or "uhrr..uhrr..uhrr". At breeding sites, individuals also emit grunts, coos, rattles, and croaks.

Similar Species

Glossy Ibis: White-faced Ibis has a red-skinned face and red legs during the breeding season, with the white border on the face connecting behind eye.

Also called the jugulum or throat patch, it is located on the front of the neck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X