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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Braggart of Bharatpur: Glossy Ibis

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


(Nikon D5600, 200-500mm lens; 1/500, f/5.6, ISO250; hand-held)


The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), though smaller than the Black-headed Ibis, is the most widespread ibis species as it has been found breeding in many warm places across the globe. It is mostly encountered as a winter visitor to India but a resident population has been found living in western India. Adult bird may appear uniformly dark from afar but when seen up close in good light the plumage will reveal an iridescent reddish-brown body and shiny green wing coverts mixed with bronze and violet tones. Non-breeding adult has a duller plumage with mottled patterns on the body. The decurved beak is long and thin and is used to forage in wetlands and moist farmlands to gather insects, crustaceans, small fish and reptiles. This ibis is a colonial nester and often shares its colonies with that of other species of wading birds. It has been described to be a highly nomadic bird and has been found crossing the vast Atlantic Ocean on occasion.

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Aug 15, 2023
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