American White Ibises are lovely goofy big wading birds. The many flocks here in my area frequent the little park lakes during the day. They have unfortunately learned to beg from well-meaning tourist visitors and unaware residents who treat them to bread, crackers or cereal as if they were park ducks. I do not participate in this and most folks here don’t but these ibises are conditioned to know that generally golf cart noises mean chow is here. By the way, it is generally illegal to feed exotic birds (Ibis, heron, egret, limpkin, spoonbills, stork, crane among others) in Florida.
The brown-colored ibis is a juvenile. They are especially attractive. As they age, their feathers will be replaced with the white and black ones that are the adult colors. Ibises mostly eat plants but also eat aquatic snails, small aquatic insects, worms, and occasionally very small fish or tadpoles.
I took these pictures here yesterday afternoon at two nearby small lakes. The ibises actually come up to people and are not wary at all. The have become really park pet animals but are still wild and free. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Would you believe I took all these photographs yesterday morning from sunrise through about 9:00 AM at several local marshes, and lakes in both Sumter and Lake Counties in Florida. Amazing! I am so lucky to live in an area where there are so many larger birds (and animals) in the wild.
Additionally, I saw Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, Wood Storks, a Tri-colored Heron, Great Blue Herons, Mallard Ducks, and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. I’ll be posting snapshots of these birds in coming posts. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egret & Common Cormorants
American White Ibis
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Green Heron and Great Egret
Juvenile and Adult American White Ibis
Herons, Wood Storks, Anhingas, ibises, geese, egrets, and ducks all were hunting for their dinner at a small park lake in The Villages, Florida on August 27, 2015 in the early evening. This little lake is near a vibrant business and entertainment area as well as many residences. The lake is beloved and so are the birds!
Whenever I go to this lake, I am always rewarded with seeing many larger birds. It is fun to watch all the action. I suspect that as the Fall turns to Winter, more birds will flock to the general area. There are several small and medium-sized lakes in this community. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Egyptian Geese, American White Ibises
Tri-colored Heron, Anhinga
Juvenile Green Heron
I spotted several small flocks of American White Ibises in the last two weeks. Here are some of the views of the big white wading (and lawn) birds! Ibis like rooting around in freshly mown lawns to seek out insects, worms, and grubs. They also will wade in shallow water to get aquatic snails or other small water insects to eat. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger photo. Enjoy!
I saw a flock of American White Ibises in a small park along the shoreline of a very small lake a few days ago. Now, seeing Ibises near a lake or in a park here in Florida is really, no big deal. I was absolutely thrilled, to spot another small group of Ibises hunting for bugs in the grass at the side of our now dry, rainfall retention pond here on my own street! By the way, the Ibises that have brown streaks are older juveniles which are in the process of turning from cocoa brown to mostly all white!
There was also a unique back story to the Ibises being on my block here. I had heard a commotion among the throng of Crows and went outside to see what was going on. I spotted not only the Ibis flock, but there was a Turkey Vulture trying to get a drink of water from the little pool of rainwater left in the basin at that time! It has been very hot here so I can imagine that the vulture just put up with the white birds, the black birds, and yes, that crazy lady with her camera! A few moments later, the vulture flew off to parts unknown. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
This American White Ibis was spotted strolling around lawns here on my street. It was alone which is pretty unusual. Last weekend, I had spotted a small flock of American White Ibises about two blocks from my home, down in a rainfall retention basin. I did not see any other Ibises when this Ibis was here on Tuesday.
Ibis like to root around in the grass for bugs and worms with their spongy bill. That is exactly what this rather pleasant and most comical-looking Ibis was doing. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Here are some Ibises and Egrets spotted here several weeks back. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Edit: I have taken some pictures this morning so here are the latest. Snowy Egret, Great Egret and juvenile White Ibis at one of the rainfall retention ponds here. Enjoy this update below!
Today’s post features a number of photographs I took of White-eyed Ibises, both juveniles and adults, at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. I took these pictures from the roadway and from an observation tower.
Laughing Gulls and a Great Egret joined the Ibises at times and perhaps were interested in trying to grab the good food from them. There was a feeding frenzy going on with hundreds of wading and sea birds there in the lagoon. These birds were feeding on snails, and other small salt marsh aquatic creatures during the out-going tidal change. I took these pictures on Jan. 29, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A flock of American White Ibis juveniles were enjoying the lowered water level of one of the larger rainfall retention ponds here on Wednesday evening. We were driving past the medium-sized pond and spotted six of the juveniles. This was the first time I had seen juvenile American White Ibises. They are brown and white with the distinctive pinkish bill. The brown coloring disappears as they mature, usually at between 18 and 24 months of age.
These big wading birds eat fish, aquatic snails, frogs, turtles, crayfish, worms, and larger insects. They seem right at home here in Florida. I did not see any adult Ibises around so this group is probably in the older range. of juvenile (often called immature). I took the pictures on August 4, 2013 at about 6:00PM at a pond near one of the golf courses here where I live. I took the pictures from the roadway while in the car. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
American White Ibises came to visit in my immediate neighborhood several times in late May and early June. I could hardly contain my glee! Boy was I happy! Other than in a zoo,, I had never seen a live Ibis, much less several of them. They were here to do one thing and that was to eat. They ate any insects they could find, and ate tadpoles, frogs, and worms. The Ibises strolled around the rainfall collection basin which is lined with St. Augustine Grass and was almost dry. The association here that manages this housing development cuts the grass in this basin about twice a month.
It was funny to see these awkward yet beautiful, large birds stroll around among the yards near houses. I had to laugh seeing one Ibis slowly stroll past a small garden gnome sculpture on a neighbor’s front lawn! I miss seeing the American White Ibises. I think maybe a small flock will return late next Spring for another visit. I sure hope so. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!