Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus


The most widespread ibis in the world, the highly successful Glossy Ibis inhabits wetlands on all continents except Antarctica. Dark, with long legs and a decurved bill, it is about the same size (66 cm length) as the very similar White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) of the Neotropics. Young birds especially provide identification challenges—complicated by the Glossy Ibis’s propensity to disperse and show up at unexpected locations. Birds in breeding plumage are chestnut with an oily green and purple iridescence. The naked facial skin is gray and surrounds a brown eye and there are pale blue lines bordering the front part of the face. The bill is brown, the legs gray, and the “knee” joints are red. Glossy Ibis nest among other species of large wading birds including other kinds of ibis. Nests are usually at ground or water level in reeds or low shrubs, not elevated like the nests of many other colonial nesters. Clutch size is usually three-four eggs, exceptionally up to six.

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© Gerrit Vyn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: