All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 2012 Bird of the Month, White-faced Ibis

In October from my window at work I watch hundreds of white-faced Ibis flocks pass by flying in formation similar to Canada Geese. White-faced Ibis are abundant around the Great Salt Lake in fact the Great Salt Lake Wetlands are one of the largest breeding areas in North America for White-faced Ibis.

Just what color are White-faced Ibis? It depends on the angle of light you are looking at them. From one angle they look black or dark brown from another angle they are shades of brown purple and green. And why is it called White-faced Ibis. Looking very much like it's eastern cousin the Glossy Ibis which seems a much more fitting name because they are quite glossy. The White-faced Ibis gets its name from the white border around its pink face during the breeding season. The picture above is a good example of both breeding and non breeding markings.

This shot shows the iridescent colors in flight
This picture was taken in late summer, notice the white face is gone. This bird was perched with a group of Black Terns
White-faced Ibis feed in lage flocks in fields, playas and wading in shallow water in marshes. I often see them feeding in fresh plowed field.

White-faced Ibis nest in much of the western United States and winter in Mexico and South America.
White-faced Ibis nest in marshes and are very abundant at Farmington Bay. The latest I have seen White-faced Ibis at Farmington Bay is January, but most have moved on by the end of October.

A beautiful and interesting wading bird the White-faced Ibis is my choice for Bird of the month for October.