Adult and juvenile White Ibis

Adult White IbisAdult White Ibis – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

White Ibis can be strange looking birds to people who have never seen them before, they have soft, sky blue eyes, skinny legs, long necks and a bill that could be compared to Jimmy Durante’s nose. The adults have white feathers, hence the name White Ibis.

There are three other Ibis species found in North America, the White-faced, Glossy and Scarlet Ibis. In the wild I have seen all but the Scarlet Ibis.

I photographed this adult White Ibis at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach in a tidal lagoon one evening in June of 2009, the sun was starting to set and the tide was going out rapidly.

Juvenile White IbisJuvenile White Ibis – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 330mm, natural light

Juvenile White Ibis have the same shaped body, legs, neck and bill and their eyes are also a sky blue but their feather colors are different. Immature White Ibis have brown, white and tan feather colors in their plumage and as they age those feathers are replaced with white, they can look piebald until that change occurs.

This juvenile white Ibis was photographed in December of 2008 about 200 feet from where the adult above was photographed in the same lagoon but earlier in the afternoon so I didn’t have that soft golden light that shows in the image with the adult.

Have a great day,



  1. Mia McPherson May 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks everyone.

    Merrill, I am glad these images brought back fond memories for you.

  2. Prairie Birder May 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Ibises are such neat birds! I really like your second photo, Mia, the light is so beautiful!

  3. Merrill Ann Gonzales May 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The white ibis brings back memories of a long collaborative poem I was writing with a fellow from England. The verse had the red sun coming through it’s outstretched wings at the end of the day as it was sunning itself … and the very name of this bird brought such mystery and history and legend to the verse that these birds will forever fill me with that kind of a feeling every time I see them. Thanks for bringing back a lovely memeory with such wonderful photos.

  4. Sherry in MT May 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

    So nice to see really clear photos of the differences. I think they are rather regal looking birds actually, especially when they turn white!

  5. Lynn Koch May 20, 2013 at 8:57 am

    These photographs are really lovely, Mia! I’ve never seen Ibises before and love the contrast of the creamy salmon bill and blue eyes with the gorgeous feathering on the adult. The feathering on the juveniles head is lovely too and looks almost like marble.

  6. biobabbler May 20, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Cool! I’ve never seen a juvie. Such pretty eyes!

  7. kim May 20, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I especially like the colours of the juvenile. We have the Australian White, the Straw-necked and the Royal Ibis. Jimmy’s nose! hahaha

  8. Dan Huber May 20, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Lovely captures Mia, love the lighting in the first

  9. Bob Bushell May 20, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Beautiful bird.

  10. Julie Brown May 20, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Seeing an ibis for the first time is exciting. They are very distinctive. The evening light in the first image is very nice, but I also like the soft blue background of the ocean in the second.

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