The Glossy Ibis is a widespread bird that covers every continent except Antarctica. But simply because they are a common bird, they are still unique. The Glossy Ibis’s scientific name is the Plegadis falcinellus, but for the sake of this article, we will refer to it as the Glossy Ibis to avoid confusion. The Glossy Ibis is not an endangered species, nor is it threatened in any way.
The Glossy Ibis is a wading bird, meaning it is long-legged bird that wades through the water in search of food. Due to this, the Glossy Ibis can stand from 48 centimeters to as tall as 66 centimeters (19 to 26 inches) and can have a wingspan of anywhere between 88 to 105 centimeters (34.6 to 41.3 inches). These birds weigh about 500-800 grams (17.6 to 28.2 oz). Other than size, there is no clear distinction of their age or gender, since all Glossy Ibises look similar. They are a distinct dark copper color with dark green wings and dark brown or black legs. This dark coloring helps them blend in with the marsh lands they tend to be found in. Their bills are long in comparison to the normal sized bill due to their long legs and it is also curved, which serves as a good tool for catching their prey in the water.
The Glossy Ibis is located in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Caribbean, making it a very adapting bird to steady climate changes. However, it is a migratory bird so the northern birds, like most other breeds of birds, fly south for the winter. The Glossy Ibis, no matter where it is located, can be ideally found dispersed in lakes, marshes, or swamps. This is due to its diet, which consists of fish, frogs, and other small aquatic creatures. If food is scarce, they will also feed on small insects such as dragonflies. Even though the Glossy Ibis is a relatively large bird, they still fall prey to animals such as Golden Eagles, Short-Toed Eagles, Vultures, and Alligators. Overall though, the Glossy Ibis is a relatively quiet bird and only makes noise when it feels threatened or it is in mating season.
Mating season for the Glossy Ibis is in spring. During this time, the Glossy Ibises make various croaking and grunting sounds to attract mates. Once mated, the Glossy Ibis makes a nest amongst other species of Ibises, egrets, and herons (all wading birds) for protection against predators like snakes. The nests consist of trees, bushes, twigs, sticks, and any other material they consider suitable. Once the nest is built, the female Glossy Ibises lay 3 – 4 eggs. For 20 – 25 days the parenting Ibises will protect the eggs until they hatch. Once the chicks are born, one parent stays and watches over them while the other goes and looks for food for the chicks. Once the chicks, reach two months old, they leave the nest to go hunting for food with their parents. They are normally fully matured after only a few months.
The Conservation of African Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies to the Glossy Ibis for its own safety. Overall, this widely known bird is a nurturing and spectacular bird.