AMERICAN WHITE IBIS(Endocimus albus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The White ibis is a wading bird with a long, thin and down-curved bill, and long legs. Plumage is white except for the wing tips, which are black. Bill is red-orange, as well as the featherless facial skin and the legs. Male is larger than the female. Bird length around 65 cm (25 inches).
NAME: ‘Ibis’ would have an Egyptian origin (Choate). Latin genus name ‘Eudocimus’ means ‘famous, in good standing’. Latin species name ‘albus’ means ‘white’.
HABITAT: Wetlands such as swamps, marshes, coastal mangroves, shallow ponds.
DIET: Forages in water for insects and crustaceans, especially crayfish.
NESTING: Breeds in colonies near bodies of water. Nest placed in a shrub. Two to five light blue-green eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds along the coast of southeast USA, Mexico and the Caribbean, and Central America. Usually year-round resident, but outside breeding season can wander far from its normal range.
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, only vagrants have been sighted so far. (See note below on Bird Vagrancy).
CONSERVATION: Population large and stable, not at risk. One issue is conflicts with crayfish farm fishermen in Louisiana, who might shoot them when the birds prey on their crayfish.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Glossy Ibis (with immature American White Ibis)
REFERENCES: (University of Michigan) (New Hampshire PBS)

American White Ibis and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks – Rockport Country Club, TX – Feb. 17, 2017 – by Jodi Arsenault
American white ibis and Black-bellied
whistling ducks
, TX, Jodi Arsenault
American white ibis, by Terry Foote, Sept. 2012
American white ibis, by Terry Foote