Nature Journal
with Photos

Glossy Ibis Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Sexes similar
- Medium-sized long-legged long-necked wader
- Bill long, dark gray, and decurved
- Dark brown eye
- Holds neck extended in flight

Adult alternate
- Bare facial skin at lores is blue-gray
- Bare facial skin bordered partially with a white or pale
   blue band that is of varying width and does not
   encircle the back of the eye
- Legs gray to dull red
- Head, neck, back and belly an iridescent purple-red,
   appearing entirely dark or black at a distance or in
   poor light
- Iridescent green wings and tail

Adult basic
- Gray facial skin
- Border to bare facial skin still present but dull gray
- Gray-green legs
- Head, neck, back and belly a duller gray-brown
   without iridescence
- Head and neck streaked with white

- Dull gray brown head, neck, back and belly sometimes
   with white streaking
- Facial skin dull blue-gray, develops dull gray border
   during first autumn
- Gray-green legs

Similar species
Curlews also have long decurved bills but are much smaller, brown above and white below, not black and iridescent. Immature White Ibis has a white belly.

The White-faced Ibis is very similar in all plumages. Adult White-faced Ibis has a red, not brown, eye. In alternate plumage the White-faced Ibis has an even white band around the bare red facial skin and has redder legs. Immatures are extremely similar.
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