Size: 19-26" (48-66 cm). A chestnut-brown wading bird with green and violet glossy tint to underparts. Long legs. Long, decurved bill. Breeding adults have a white ring around the bill and eye, red legs. Immatures and non-breeding adults lack the white face and red color to legs. Flies with neck and legs outstretched.
Similar Species- No similar species in Idaho. Very similar in appearance to the Glossy Ibis which breeds only in eastern North America.
A low quacking while flying
Breeds locally from central California, eastern Oregon, southern Idaho, and Northern Plains states, south through parts of Gulf Coast states and Mexico to South America. Winters from southern California, southern Texas, and Louisiana, south through lowlands to Guatemala and El Salvador, and generally in breeding range in South America. Wanders outside usual range.
Found mostly in freshwater areas, on marshes, swamps, ponds and rivers. In Idaho, prefers shallow-water areas.
Eats crayfish, frogs, fishes, insects, newts, earthworms, and crustaceans.
Builds nest on ground, or in shrub or tree. In Idaho, nests in tule habitat (not known to nest in state prior to 1970). Nesting failure may result from loss of riparian habitat. Typically feeds in freshwater marshes. Some avian predation is known (gulls), but mammalian predation is minimal except during droughts.
clutch size usually varies from 3-4 eggs. Incubation lasts 21-22 days. In southern Idaho study, clutch size varied from 2.7-4 eggs/nest, and brood size averaged 2.4 young/nest.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Trost, C.H. and A. Gerstell. 1994. Status and distribution of colonial nesting waterbirds in southern Idaho, 1993. Dept. Biol. Sciences, Idaho St. Univ., Pocatello. 101pp.