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American White Ibis
Eudocimus albus

Pelecaniformes Order – Threskiornithidae Family

Length: 64 cm
Wingspan: 97 cm
Weight: 750-1050 g

LONGEVITY: Up to 20 years

White Ibis adults have white plumage and pink facial bare skin. Bill and legs are red. Eyes are bluish white.

White Ibis is considered as game bird throughout its range. They are threatened by habitat loss and destruction of colony sites by humans.
At this time, there is no special status for this species, because populations do not suffer large decreases.     

Fr: Ibis blanc
All : Schneesichler
Esp : Corocoro blanco
Ital : Ibis bianco
Nd : Witte ibis
Sd : Vit ibis  

Photographs by Tom Merigan
His website : Tom Merigan’s Photo Galleries

Photographs by Tom Grey
His website : Tom Grey's Bird Pictures

Photographs by Steve Garvie
His website : RAINBIRDER Photo galleries

Text by Nicole Bouglouan

Sources :

HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD vol 1 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334105

FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA by National Geographic Society - National Geographic Society - ISBN: 0792274512

Avibase (Lepage Denis)

All About Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Animal Diversity Web (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)

Wikipedia (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)


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Summary Cards                   

In breeding plumage, facial skin, bill and legs become scarlet. They have black tips on primaries, conspicuous in flight. They have short tail.
Red bill is down curved and long, with dark tip.

Both sexes are similar, with male larger than female.

Juvenile has paler bill and face than adults. Underparts are white. They have white wing bars and dark plumage on upperparts. Head and neck are white, heavily streaked with dark brown.

White Ibis has a harsh and nasal call “hunk-hunk-hunk-hunk”. It is an alarm call uttered by the male. Female squeals. We can often hear a soft grunting “croo-croo-croo” while foraging.

White Ibis is common in coastal salt marshes, swamps and mangroves. It can be found in city parks during winter. It may live from sea level to 500 metres high.

White Ibis lives from Southern United States and Mexico to Peru, Brazil, Guyana and Surinam, and also in Caribbean and Bahamas.
They winter in their breeding range.

White Ibis is often found singly, in small groups or in large flocks by hundreds of birds. Juveniles are usually in separated flocks.
In wild, White Ibis hybridizes with Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber), giving various shades of pink and scarlet in young birds plumage.

White Ibis is highly gregarious, living in flocks. However, they defend their small nesting territory and show some aggressivity while mating, jabbing at rivals or catching wing or head’s opponent in their bill.
They may steal food from each other, but larger species steal food from them too.

To feed, White Ibis walks slowly in shallow water while foraging. They sweep their bill from side to side, and probe at the bottom, to find aquatic invertebrates.

Then, it cleans its prey in the water before to swallow it. They also forage on mud or short grass, finding prey by touch, while probing, or by sight.

They often feed in large flocks, moving together to find food resources.

Courtship display include preening, leaning over, and with a twig in the bill, pointing bill skywards and lowering head onto back.

White Ibis flies with extended neck and legs. It may soar and perform wing beats. Flocks fly in V formation, or in undulating line, or without any order. White Ibis may fly at about 40 km per hour.

White Ibis nests according to the rain and food resources. In Florida, they nest from spring to autumn.
They nest in colonies mixed with other Ibis species and herons.
Nest is a platform made with sticks or reeds, and sometimes lined with fresh leaves. Both adults build the nest in trees above water, usually in branch crotches, but sometimes on the ground. Male brings material and female builds the nest.

Female lays 2 to 4 white or creamy eggs. Incubation lasts about 21 to 23 days, shared by both parents. Chicks hatch altricial and they are fed by both parents by regurgitation. They grow rapidly and they may fledge at about 28 to 35 days of age. They gather in colonies, always fed by parents during 40 to 50 days. They need about 7 weeks to become independent.
Young reach their sexual maturity at about three years.
This species probably produces only one brood per year.

White Ibis feeds on small aquatic invertebrates, such as crayfish, and terrestrial and aquatic insects, and larvae. They may consume marine worms, small fishes, frogs, and several small animals.