A White Ibis in dark water

A White Ibis feeding in dark green water – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

When I lived in Tampa, Florida the Whites Ibises were often called Lawn Chickensbecause they would feed in people’s yards in big flocks. This bird is an adult in nonbreeding plumage, when this ibis species goes into breeding plumage the bill and the legs turn a deep crimson red. Juvenile White Ibis have variable tan, brown and white plumage.

White Ibis eat small crustaceans such as crayfish, blue and fiddler crabs, small fish and frogs and they will also eat insects. The photo above was taken while the ibis foraged in a saltwater lagoon but White Ibises can also be found in freshwater wetlands, marshes, swamps,  fields flooded with water and in grassy lawns.

I was sitting in the shallow water of a lagoon when I created this image to get a nice low angle. The greens you see in the water of this photo are the leaves of mangroves being reflected and this was taken in early morning light which helps a great deal when photographing white birds.


(Photo taken March 2009)