American White Ibis

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The American White Ibis is a species of wading bird. It occurs from the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coast of the United States south through most of the New World tropics. It is a middle-sized bird with an overall white plumage, bright red-orange down-curved bill and long legs, and black wing tips that are usually only visible in flight. Being sexually dimorphic, males are larger than females.

The breeding range spans along the Gulf and Atlantic Coast and also along the coasts of Mexico and Central America. The non-breeding range extends further inland in North America and also includes the Caribbean. It is also found along the northwestern South American coastline in Colombia and Venezuela. Populations in central Venezuela overlap and interbreed with the Scarlet Ibis. The two have been classified as a single species. Outside the breeding season, the American White Ibis is found in a variety of wetland habitats, and nests in huge colonies near water in breeding season.

The diet consists primarily of small aquatic prey such as insects and small fishes. Depending on the habitat and the prey abundance, the American White Ibis will adjust its diet although studies have found crayfish to be its preferred source of food in most regions. It is a tactile, non-visual forager whose main foraging behavior is probing its beak into the water to feel for and to capture its prey.

Photos

Juvenile American White Ibis, Hammocks State Botanical Site
American White Ibis, South Beach
American White Ibis, Universal Studio
American White Ibis Floak, EPCOT

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