Winter Wading Birds of Florida; White Ibis
|White Ibis, Oasis Visitors Center, Big Cypress National Preserve, FL; 12/30/2012.|
While on my five-day-long visit to Southern Florida, the week between Christmas and New Year's, I was fortunate to see 15 of the 18 Floridian wading birds featured in Sibley's Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. The three birds I did not observe were: Reddish Egret and both Bitterns (Least and American). Other wading birds found in the Field Guide, but are not found in Florida are White-faced Ibis, Flamingo, Scarlet Ibis, and the Little Egret (it is not surprising that I did not see any of these as well). The latter three are rare visitors from outside the country.
Of all the wading birds present in Florida, the White Ibis (Above and Below) seemed to be the most common and visible. I saw them in every spot I visited.
|More White Ibis, Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve, Sanibel island,FL; 12/30/2012.|
Lovers Key State Park: White Ibis, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Roseate Spoonbills (Flyover)
Big Cypress Oasis Visitors Center: Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Wood Stork, Tri-colored Heron, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis
Corkscrew National Wildlife Refuge: Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, White Ibis
Key West: White Ibis, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron (white phase)
Everglades National Park: Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron (white phase), Great Egret, Green Heron, Little Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbills (flyovers), Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, White Ibis, Wood Stork
Big Cypress Oasis Visitors Center: Cattle Egret, Wood Stork, Tri-colored Heron, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge & Sanibel Island: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbills, Tri-colored Herons, White Ibis, Yellow-crowned Night Herons
|White Ibis, Everglades NP, FL; 12/28/2012.|
|A juvenile White Ibis, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL; 12/30/2012.|
When I first spotted a juvenile White Ibis (Above), I thought it was a a different species. Young White Ibis are mostly brown with white rumps and undersides. They start getting their white feathers in December - first on their back, until they molt into white adulthood by spring.
|White Ibis resting on a dead branch, Everglades NP, FL; 12/29/2012.|
|A juvenile White Ibis, Everglades NP, FL; 12/29/2012.|