Glossy ibis

These birds seem to have lost their way to the beauty pageant

Derek Keats

A cosmopolitan wader and the most widespread of all ibis species. Its ancestry is rooted in the Old World, but it has successfully colonized a vast range, extending to the Americas and beyond, showcasing its remarkable adaptability.

The bird is aptly named for the iridescent sheen of its feathers, which, in the right light, gleam with a spectrum of colors from glossy green to purple and bronze, particularly prominent in the breeding season. Outside of breeding plumage, the Glossy Ibis presents a somewhat muted appearance with more pronounced streaking on the head and neck.

One of the more adaptable waders, the Glossy Ibis frequents a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, rice fields, lagoons, and riverbanks. The bird’s long, curved bill is a specialized tool, perfect for foraging in the mud and shallow waters for a diet that is as diverse as its habitat: it includes insects, small fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and various invertebrates. This diet makes the Glossy Ibis an integral part of its ecosystem, controlling insect populations and contributing to the balance of the food chain.

During the breeding season, Glossy Ibises are gregarious, forming large colonies often shared with other waterbirds. This sociality provides many benefits, including increased vigilance against predators and cooperative feeding opportunities. Nesting sites are typically located in reed beds or dense vegetation and sometimes even in trees near water. These nests are made from reeds, twigs, and leaves.

The monogamous pair bonds of the Glossy Ibis, usually formed for the duration of the breeding season, are characterized by mutual displays of affection such as preening and bill rubbing. Both parents are involved in nest construction, egg incubation, and the feeding of chicks, which is done through regurgitation.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Passage
Albania
2016
Algeria
2016
Seasonality Uncertain
Angola
2016
Anguilla
2016
Antigua & Barbuda
2016
Armenia
2016
Breeding
Aruba
2016
Australia
2016
Breeding
Austria
2016
Vagrant
Azerbaijan
2016
Bahamas
2016
Bahrain
2016
Passage
Bangladesh
2016
Barbados
2016
Belarus
2016
Seasonality Uncertain
Belgium
2016
Vagrant
Belize
2016
Non-Breeding
Benin
2016
Bermuda
2016
Bosnia And Herz.
2016
Breeding
Botswana
2016
British Indian T.
2016
Vagrant
British Virgin Is.
2016
Vagrant
Brunei
2016
Vagrant
Bulgaria
2016
Burkina Faso
2016
Burundi
2016
Cambodia
2016
Cameroon
2016
Canada
2016
Breeding
Cape Verde
2016
Vagrant
Cayman Islands
2016
Central Af. Rep.
2016
Chad
2016
China
2016
Cocos Is. (Keeling)
2016
Vagrant
Colombia
2016
Costa Rica
2016
Croatia
2016
Breeding
Cuba
2016
Cyprus
2016
Passage
Czechia
2016
Non-Breeding
Côte D’ivoire
2016
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2016
Denmark
2016
Vagrant
Djibouti
2016
Dominica
2016
Dominican Republic
2016
East Timor
2016
Non-Breeding
Ecuador
2016
Egypt
2016
Eritrea
2016
Estonia
2016
Vagrant
Eswatini
2016
Ethiopia
2016
Faroe Islands
2016
Vagrant
Fiji
2016
Non-Breeding
Finland
2016
Vagrant
France
2016
Gabon
2016
Gambia
2016
Germany
2016
Vagrant
Ghana
2016
Gibraltar
2016
Vagrant
Greece
2016
Guadeloupe
2016
Guinea-Bissau
2016
Haiti
2016
Honduras
2016
Hong Kong
2016
Vagrant
Hungary
2016
Breeding
Iceland
2016
Vagrant
India
2016
Indonesia
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Ireland
2016
Non-Breeding
Islands
2016
Vagrant
Israel
2016
Italy
2016
Jamaica
2016
Breeding
Jordan
2016
Passage
Kazakhstan
2016
Breeding
Kenya
2016
Kuwait
2016
Passage
Kyrgyzstan
2016
Vagrant
Latvia
2016
Vagrant
Lebanon
2016
Lesotho
2016
Vagrant
Liberia
2016
Libya
2016
Luxembourg
2016
Madagascar
2016
Malawi
2016
Malaysia
2016
Maldives
2016
Vagrant
Mali
2016
Malta
2016
Martinique
2016
Mauritania
2016
Mexico
2016
Moldova
2016
Breeding
Montenegro
2016
Breeding
Montserrat
2016
Morocco
2016
Mozambique
2016
Myanmar
2016
Namibia
2016
Nepal
2016
Netherlands
2016
Vagrant
New Caledonia
2016
Vagrant
New Zealand
2016
Vagrant
Niger
2016
Nigeria
2016
North Macedonia
2016
Norway
2016
Vagrant
Oman
2016
Pakistan
2016
Panama
2016
Papua New Guinea
2016
Philippines
2016
Poland
2016
Vagrant
Portugal
2016
Puerto Rico
2016
Qatar
2016
Romania
2016
Russia
2016
European Russia
Rwanda
2016
Saint Lucia
2016
Saint Pierre
2016
Passage
Saint Vincent
2016
Saudi Arabia
2016
Senegal
2016
Serbia
2016
Breeding
Sierra Leone
2016
Singapore
2016
Slovakia
2016
Slovenia
2016
Solomon Islands
2016
Vagrant
Somalia
2016
South Africa
2016
South Sudan
2016
Passage
Spain
2016
Vagrant: Canary Is.
Sri Lanka
2016
St. Kitts & Nevis
2016
Sudan
2016
Sweden
2016
Vagrant
Switzerland
2016
Vagrant
Syria
2016
Passage
Tajikistan
2016
Tanzania
2016
Thailand
2016
Togo
2016
Vagrant
Trinidad & Tobago
2016
Tunisia
2016
Turkey
2016
Turkmenistan
2016
Breeding
Turks & Caicos
2016
UAE
2016
US Virgin Islands
2016
Vagrant
Uganda
2016
Ukraine
2016
United Kingdom
2016
Vagrant
United States
2016
Breeding
Uzbekistan
2016
Breeding
Venezuela
2016
Vietnam
2016
Yemen
2016
Zambia
2016
Breeding
Zimbabwe
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No