Plegadis chihi
(White-faced Ibis)

Order: Ciconiiformes
Order Description: Bitterns, Herons, Egrets,and Ibises
Family: Threskiornithidae
Family Description: Ibises

Physical Description:
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 riparianClick word for definition habitat. Typically feeds in freshwater marshes. Some avian predation is known (gulls), but mammalian predation is minimal except during droughts.

clutchClick word for definition size usually varies from 3-4 eggs. Incubation lasts 21-22 days. In southern Idaho study, clutchClick word for definition size varied from 2.7-4 eggs/nest, and broodClick word for definition size averaged 2.4 young/nest.

Element Code: ABNGE02020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
National Rank: N4B,N4N

Important State References:
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.

Photo by George Jameson, ©2002
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.