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Ibis I Am

This odd looking bird is pretty common around rivers and lakes throughout much of the year in northwest Louisiana.  The long decurved bill, white wings and black wingtips make for an easy identification of an adult White Ibis.  I see them often early in the morning flying overhead in small groups heading out in search of food.  If you are lucky they will land close by and you can observe them walking along the shallow water and even in the mud probing for food.  You might see some similar birds with brown or brownish white markings mixed in with the white birds.  The birds with brown are juveniles.  As they mature, the brown feathers are replaced by the mature adult white feathers with black wing tips.
The in-flight White Ibis shown here was photographed last Sunday (5Aug12) at the Bayou Pierre Unit of Red River National Wildlife Refuge.  I see White Ibises regularly at both Bayou Pierre and Headquarters Unit.  Last Sunday I also group of seven dark ibises land in the moist soil units at Bayou Pierre.  The dark ibises are either White-Faces or Glossy, and are occasional visitors to the Bayou Pierre Unit in the summer and fall.

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