This is an adult White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) that I photographed at Fort De Soto’s north beach that was feeding in a tidal lagoon by the mangroves, I was sitting waist deep in the water when I photographed the bird to get a low angle to capture the elongated reflections that being so low can create. This Ibis was going into breeding plumage, the bill, face and legs would be slightly redder than shown here if it had been closer to breeding time.
This is an immature White Ibis and although the body, legs, face and bill are similar to the adults the plumage is differently colored. Juvenile White Ibis are generally brown and creamy white from July through December and during the month of December white feathers begin to appear on their backs, this young bird was photographed on December 18, 2008 and shows those white feathers. From December until August of the second year juvenile White Ibis will exhibit more and more white feathers until they have the same plumage as adult.