muddy open shoreline of Indian Creek Reservoir (later flew into thicker green weedy areas on the north shore)
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
clear & sunny. Viewed from the car with our Swarovski and Vortex 10X42 binos, and Nikon P900X camera. Bird was maybe 80m away
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, during the observation
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, during the observation
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley phone app
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
An adult in breeding plumage. It was perched next to a few adult (and one juvenile) White-faced Ibis, offering excellent comparisons of the key field marks. We first noticed the apparently dark face. In binoculars we could see the white lines around the upper and lower lores (not tracing around behind the eye), the dark eye compared to the reddish of nearby White-faced, and bluish gray facial skin. We also saw the bluish legs with pink leg joint clearly, with great comparisons to the White-faced.
The bird was perched out in the open with unobstructed views (except when it would turn its head while preening).
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
It was perched on the ground with a group of White-faced Ibis. It sat still, sometimes preening. When the group of adult ibis took flight, it flew with them and crossed the reservoir, landing in taller green weedy vegetation near the shore.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
Jay immediately called out Glossy as soon as he had it in binoculars, based on face pattern in comparison to the White-faced. A few seconds of careful observation confirmed that it was indeed a Glossy, based on face pattern and leg color. The fact that it was an adult in breeding condition and viewed quite closely made the ID easier than most of our previous ibis sightings ?
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
The only similar species is White-faced Ibis but the two species have hybridized so caution is necessary. Features of this bird that argued for a pure Glossy are: bluish-gray facial skin (no hint of reddish) and a lack of white feathering at base/border of bill.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
We see hundreds to thousands of White-faced in Idaho annually. Jay has seen hundreds of Glossy – especially in Connecticut but also elsewhere – and has seen several in Idaho previously. Since Glossy seem to be increasing in the state (especially E) we sift through White-faced whenever we get the chance.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
We have a combined 35+ years of birding experience
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
Wrote an eBird checklist note, plus IBLE/Facebook posts with description while still viewing the bird
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description and photos support the identification of Glossy Ibis.
Well described including photos
Textbook glossy, great documentation.
I agree that this did look correct for a Glossy Ibis to me, with no indication of hybridization.
Generally very skeptical when this species is reported given the difficulty of the identification in less than ideal circumstances, plus the potential of hybrids with the abundant White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi). Not the case here. The observer did an excellent job discussing the key marks which are supported with diagnostic photos.
Photos and description are consistent with Glossy Ibis. Does not appear to have any obvious hybrid features with a White-faced Ibis.
The bird has a dark eye and bluish line that doesn't go behind the eye etc. It seems to be a classic Glossy.