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White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi


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White-faced Ibis, nonbreeding
credit: Kevin Cole/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Threskiornithidae, Ibises and Spoonbills view all from this family

Description ADULT BREEDING Has mainly maroon plumage with green sheen on wing coverts and lower back. Bill is grayish and beady red eyes and red facial skin have a white border. Legs are pinkish red. ADULT NONBREEDING Similar, but duller. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but duller; facial markings are absent until first spring.

Dimensions Length: 22-25" (56-64 cm); Wngspn: 3' 1" (94 cm)

Habitat Locally common resident of Gulf coast wetlands.

Observation Tips Easy to see, but separation from Glossy Ibis can be tricky.

Range Southwest, Plains, Eastern Canada, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Northwest, California, Texas

Voice Utters a huerr-huerr-huerr call.

Discussion Similar to Glossy Ibis and ranges overlap in Louisiana and Texas. Breeding adult is fairly easy to separate from Glossy: facial skin is red (not dark), surrounding white border is more striking, and legs are brighter red. In other plumages, specific identification is a challenge: White-faced has a reddish (not brown) eye, retains pinkish face (dark in Glossy), but loses white border (retained in nonbreeding Glossy). Sexes are similar.