Plegadis falcinellus

Description

The Glossy Ibis is a small dark ibis that looks black in the distance.

Close up the neck is reddish-brown and the body is a bronze-brown with a metallic sheen on the wings.

The distinctive long, curved bill is olive/brown, the facial skin is blue-grey with a bordering white line that extends around the eyes. The eyes, legs are feet are brown.

Distribution

The Glossy Ibis is found throughout much of the Australian mainland, but is most common in the north. It is a non-breeding visitor to Tasmania and the south-west of Western Australia.

Lifespan

The life expectancy of a Glossy Ibis is between 14 - 26 years of age.

Size

The size of the Glossy Ibis is 48 - 61 centimetres in length, with an average weight of 500 grams.

Diet

Glossy Ibis feed on frogs, snails, aquatic insects and spiders in damp places. They feed by probing the water and mud with their long, curved bill.

Habitat

The Glossy Ibis enjoys shallow water and mudflats, so is commonly found in well-vegetated wetlands, floodplains, mangroves and rice fields.

Breeding

Breeding season is during September to April, where the Glossy Ibis builds a platform nest of sticks, usually with a lining of aquatic plants, between the upright branches of trees or shrubs growing in water. The female will produce 3 - 6 eggs and will incubate them for about 25 days.