Wednesday, October 28, 2009

White ibis

Egrets and herons are very common, but this is a white ibis. The difference is the down-curved bill, which looks well adapted to spiking food without having to move its neck as far as would be needed for a straight beak.

The white ibis has several other distinctive features. It has a pink coloration on its face that is bare skin rather than feathers where the beak meets the face. In flight, it reveals black tips on its wings, which are hidden when walking. Its neck is also straight in flight.

White ibises are most commonly found in Costa Rica in the wetlands around he Gulf of Nicoya, which is exactly where I took this photograph. The Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park flows into the Gulf of Nicoya, which divides the Nicoya Peninsula from the area of Costa Rica nearer to San Jose.

White ibis reach lengths of 63 cm (25 in), so they are smaller than many herons or egrets. Their scientific name is eudocimus albus. Not surprisingly, they are known locally in Costa Rica as ibis blanco.

5 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Great capture of a lovely but muddy bird!

Sharon said...

Beautiful picture of another unique bird.

brattcat said...

So interesting about the pink area being featherless. The mud looks delicious. I'd love to walk barefoot in it. And what is that small green fruit on the far left?

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

very good image of a white ibis. you have lots of great bird photos

Jarart said...

The pink trim makes this bird so attractive. Looks like an apple on the ground? No, can't be, do you know what it is?

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