Hotline Photos

Glossy Ibis

Friday, 20 Apr 2009
Washington Fields
Washington County, Utah

(Emails from Rick Fridell,  20 Apr 2009)

This afternoon (4/20 ~ 5:15p) there was an adult Glossy Ibis with a flock of around 200 White-faced Ibis in the Washington Fields (Washington Co., UT). The Ibis were in the northwestern most field in the Washington Fields; on the north side of the y-drain where it drops into the Virgin River floodplain. The field is recently planted and currently being watered and thus attracting a nice diversity of waterbirds (including the Ibis, a few ducks, a Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-necked Stilts, a Willet, and a
couple Wilson's Snipe).

I managed a few long distant photos, that, hopefully, will show the diagnostic blue face and dark eye. A scope was useful for picking out the Glossy Ibis among the many White-faced Ibis, however in the afternoon light the blue face and dark eye were fairly easy to spot. Kevin and Pam Wheeler were also able to see the bird. The flock was still present at ~6:15p when we left.


Rick Fridell

(Emails from Rick Fridell,  21 Apr 2009)


This evening (4/21; 6:20p) I relocated the Glossy Ibis in the Washington Fields (Washington Co., UT). It was with a small flock of about 50 White-faced Ibis in a wet alfalfa field in the southeast corner of the Washington Fields. I first located an ibis with blue facial skin, but when I got it in the scope, I thought I was going to have to retract this sighting as a hybrid ibis...although it had a blue face, it also sported a grayish bill, and more importantly in good light, a reddish eye (not as bright or obvious as a White-faced Ibis, but distinctly red). When I found the bird yesterday, (I thought) I carefully ruled out a possible hybrid and had convinced myself the the bird was a clean Glossy Ibis (dark brown eye, dark lores, blue face border, etc.). Always suspicious of the 'second bird theory', I was starting to doubt yesterday's sighting when an alternate plumaged Glossy Ibis strolled into view. I managed much better photos of the Glossy Ibis tonight, and also was able to get some nice photos of the apparent hybrid White-faced x Glossy Ibis. I'm very surprised to see both of these birds together in a relatively small flock; I've looked through 1,000's of ibis in Washington County over the last ten years or so and these are the first that weren't obvious White-faced Ibis.

It was a great evening for egrets and herons in the Washington Fields tonight with Great Blue Heron (2), Great Egret, Snowy Egret (2), Cattle Egret (2), Green Heron (y-drain), and Black-crowned Night-Heron in various wet fields and drains. I also saw several curlews and a Ross' Goose hanging out with a couple Canada Geese.

Incidentally, the Glossy Ibis is my 350th Washington County species (.....and still no magpie)!


Rick Fridell
Hurricane, UT

          Photos by Rick Fridell

  Photos by Rick Fridell

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