Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus

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The glossy ibis belongs to the group of birds collectively known as ibises. Characteristic of the ibises are long, curved bills and long, slender legs. The species is distributed throughout the world: in South and Eastern Europe, America, Asia, Australia and Africa. These migratory birds winter in Africa. Both sexes are identical in appearance (monomorphic) and have the same iridescent plumage. The female is, however, somewhat larger and heavier than the male. The feathers are a brownish black metallic colour. The breeding plumage shimmers with intense tones of mahogany, copper and bronze and the wings have a metallic shine with tinges ranging from green to blue to purple. Two white lines stretch from the bottom of the bill all the way to the eyes. Consequently, the glossy ibis can only be confused with the white-faced ibis. The glossy ibis requires wetlands, such as swamps, marshland, lakes and lagoons with plentiful vegetation. They form breeding colonies alongside little egrets and other ibises. With their bills, the birds forage for insects, molluscs, worms, types of crab, fish and amphibians.

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