Glossy Ibis


Glossy Ibis in Imperial County CA
July 09, 2003 
Guide: Bob Miller

Update!  It was brought to my attention that this bird is a possible hybrid Glossy/White-faced Ibis.  There is a bit of red in the face and just around the eye.  The eye appears browner than a typical White-faced Ibis but does have a reddish tint.  My experience with Glossy Ibis is limited so I can not offer much more than these photographs!  Added to the bottom right of this page are two more photos. Digital pics are resized down to fit on web pages and to load in a decent amount of time. These newly added pictures are cropped out of the originals so they are the actual size of that portion of the original. One is a composite and has a close-up of the actual White-faced Ibis that is beside the Glossy in the two pics below.

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

The thin pale line around the face has a bluish tint that does not show well in these pics.

The pale line does not extend behind the eye. The subtly different color of the bill is noticeable from the side. 

Brownish eye.

A Glossy Ibis was found by Guy McCaskie and Jon L. Dunn this morning, July 09, near the intersection of Sinclair and English Roads near Calipatria CA.  Lea Anne and I went out about 1830 and were able to photograph this bird.  The setting sun made for spectacular colors on all of the birds present.

Comparison Glossy on right

Comparison Glossy on right

The Glossy Ibis spent most of the time preening and separated from the other birds while we were there. The field had finished watering so most of these birds will probably be in a different location tomorrow. We did find another similar field about two miles south of Sinclair on English Road which might run water for part of the day tomorrow and would be a good place to start looking if you try for this bird.

Aside from the Ibis, the most unusual bird in the field, for me, was this Yellow-footed Gull.  It stood it's ground with all of the competition although it appeared to be learning a "new game" as it slowly and methodically moved along and starred at the ground.

Yellow-Footed Gull

The photos below are of the field with the Glossy Ibis in it, though just a black spot.  I include these to give an idea of what is possible with "digiscoping". All of the above pictures were taken through a Kowa spotting scope with a Nikon digital camera while standing in the same spot as the pics below.  The distance to the bird was pretty extreme considering it was about 110 degrees and the heat waves were rolling!

Composite comparison

Crop from A at left

Photos Bob Miller