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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 04:38   #1
DDolan1075
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Glossy vs White-faced Ibis Texas

I took these pictures this past weekend in a park just off the coast in South East Texas at San Bernard NWR. The first 3 pictures are of a bird that I think is a Glossy Ibis. The fourth is a White-faced I think. Help would be appreciated.
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 12:23   #2
chris butterworth
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IMO they are all Glossies, the fourth photo is of a 1st winter bird while the others are adults. ( it's something to do with the lores but, for the life of me I can't put into words why! )

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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 18:29   #3
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I had asked a friend, who I trust immensely, and he was exactly the opposite. He thinks that they are all White-faced juvies. Any other responses?

BTW Glossies are around, but they are rare here.
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Old Wednesday 23rd March 2011, 01:02   #4
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Even the first winter birds would have red eyes by late march if they were white-faced wouldn't they? BTW, I have no experience with these two species, so just a question to consider.

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 12:19   #5
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They are all White-faced Ibis. Note the red iris on all the birds. In addition, note the gray of the bill. Glossy Ibis would have a dark iris with a brownish bill.

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 12:35   #6
chris butterworth
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BTW Glossies are around, but they are rare here.
I hadn't realised that. Whichever species they are they are all the same species. I know, it's a cop out but................

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 12:48   #7
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Originally Posted by chris butterworth View Post
I hadn't realised that. Whichever species they are they are all the same species. I know, it's a cop out but................
At least you didn't suggest they were all Scarlet Ibis or something ...
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 13:30   #8
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Originally Posted by csanchez7 View Post
Note the red iris on all the birds.
I don't have an opinion on the ID (don't have enough experience with Plegadis at this time of year), but on my monitor I can't see any red in the iris of the bird in the first three photos (and even the bird in the last photo only shows what might be red). But that could just be because of the distance from the camera.

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 13:45   #9
BuckeyeAZ
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There's no red iris visible in these photos.
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 14:03   #10
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Perhaps it is my screen? I can see ruby red pretty clearly in the last photo and can make it out pretty well in the first three.

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 14:13   #11
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In Missouri, where I live, we get far more White-faced Ibis coming through our area than the rather rare Glossy Ibis. One would probably expect the White-faced variety also to be the one commonly found in Texas (as per range maps).
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 14:48   #12
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Larry,

I know from personal experience that White-faced Ibis is the dominant Plegadis sp. in Texas. Southwestern Louisiana is about 50/50 with Glossy Ibis. Southeast Louisiana has mostly Glossy Ibis but with a still significant number of White-faced Ibis mixed in.

Florida has a few records of White-faced Ibis every year, although Glossy Ibis makes up an overwhelming majority of the population. Interestingly, almost all the records for White-faced Ibis are in the northern and central portions of the state. I am used to observing both species almost year around due to working along the gulf.

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 15:16   #13
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Interesting, but doesn't advance the discussion of the ID of these birds. I don't know which species these are, but, if you think they show a red iris in these photos, I think you're kidding yourself. It's easy to find photos - even rather poor photos - of white-faced ibis in which the iris is obviously red, showing up surprisingly well. These are nothing like that.
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 16:08   #14
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I did also note the colder grayish tones of the bill, another fieldmark for White-faced Ibis -- one that is just as good as the eye coloration.

The plumage on the back on the birds in the second and fourth photos shows some golden hues, which would tend to be a quality of White-faced Ibis but I am leery of judging iridescence from photos. Glossy Ibis tends to show darker plumage overall with more blue-green iridescence. These differences are much more visible in person when they are feeding together.

One observation about eye coloration is that, at least with birds observed in Florida, the eye becomes increasingly more red as the year progresses into spring. A bird I recently observed in Tallahassee, Florida did not show a brilliant red eye either and the bare facial skin was no where near as brilliant pink as it could be.

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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 17:02   #15
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To me these are all Glossy Ibis.
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 22:20   #16
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It might be better to leave these as Plegadis species.
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 22:25   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeAZ View Post
Interesting, but doesn't advance the discussion of the ID of these birds. I don't know which species these are, but, if you think they show a red iris in these photos, I think you're kidding yourself. It's easy to find photos - even rather poor photos - of white-faced ibis in which the iris is obviously red, showing up surprisingly well. These are nothing like that.
Do you think then that species range maps have no bearing in a discussion of bird identification! Surely the range maps might shed a little light on which species it "probably is" (when the separation of the two species is not obvious).
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Old Thursday 24th March 2011, 23:24   #18
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I can most definitely not see red iris on 1-3, with 4 a "maybe there is a hint". For all four, I would say that better photos could possibly have shown the red.

I cannot comment on the other field marks discussed.

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