The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a common medium-sized wetland wading bird from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.
The Glossy Ibis is reddish-brown with iridescent dark-green wings. It has a brown beak and red-brown legs.
It grows to 48–66 centimetres (19–26 inches) tall, with an 80–105 centimetre (31–41 inch) wingspan. Unlike herons, the Glossy Ibis flies with its neck outstretched (instead of an S-shape).
The Glossy Ibis feeds in very shallow water. It eats insects, such as beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers, flies, snails, crabs, lizards, frogs, and fish.
It nests in freshwater or brackish wetlands with tall dense reeds, papyrus, or bulrushes. It likes lagoons, floodplains, swamps, and ponds.
Their nest is usually a platform of twigs and vegetation near water. Females lay 3-4 eggs, incubated by both male and female parents. The eggs hatch after 20-23 days. The young chicks leave the nest after about 7 days, but the parents continue to feed them for another 6 weeks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM