In a beautiful morning my husband and I woke up with a very unusual noise from the top of my house’s water reservoir. My husband hurried up to see what was going on and took some photos. There were four beautiful birds (at that moment we didn’t know their species). Later, searching in Google, I found they were Ibises, White-faced Ibis, or White-faced Glossy-Ibis (scientific name: Plegadis chihi), in Portuguese, Caraúna or Tapicuru. Those lovelies Ibises made a peculiar sound. Click on World Bird Guide to hear their sound.
Ibises are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae. They all have long downcurved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items, usually crustaceans. Most species nest in trees, often with Spoonbills or Herons.
According to folklore, the Ibis is the last form of wildlife to take shelter prior to a hurricane and the first to reappear after the storm passes. The Ibis was also an object of religious veneration in ancient Egypt, particularly associated with the god, Thoth.
The family Threskiornithidae includes about 30 species of large terrestrial and wading birds, falling into two subfamilies, the Ibises and the Spoonbills. It was formerly known as Plataleidae. The Spoonbills and Ibises are related to other groups of long-legged wading birds in the order Ciconiiformes, including the Storks, the Herons, and the Bitternss.
They are distributed almost worldwide, being found near almost any area of standing or slow-flowing fresh or brackish water. Ibises are also found in drier areas, including city rubbish tips. All are diurnal and spending the day feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and small vertebrates. At night, they roost in trees near water. They are gregarious, feeding, roosting, and flying together, often in formation.
Till then they don’t show up at my house. I hope to see these beautiful and rare birds again and very soon!
Next post I will introduce another wild bird.
Photos by Carlos Alckmin Mascaro