Adult and juvenile White-faced Ibis

A juvenile White-faced Ibis at Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeA juvenile White-faced Ibis at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

While processing files for my photo galleries the other day I realized I had never posted images of juvenile White-faced Ibis and wanted to correct that. White-faced Ibis breed in large numbers in the freshwater marshes that surround the Great Salt Lake including Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

Resting juvenile White-faced IbisResting juvenile White-faced Ibis – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Last September I was able to get close enough to this juvenile White-faced Ibis to take images of it on the auto tour loop of the refuge. Their bills at this age are a bit shorter than a full grown ibis and not as evenly colored, their eyes are still very dark and not red like the adults and their plumage lacks the green, pink, purple and bronze iridescence that the adults have.

An adult White-faced Ibis feedingAn adult White-faced Ibis feeding – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This adult White-faced Ibis is shown in breeding plumage, in nonbreeding plumage the legs and lores would be duller and there wouldn’t be a band of white feathers at the base of the bill or surrounding the lores of the ibis. In breeding plumage I think the White-faced Ibis are pretty flashy.

I am still seeing a few overwintering White-faced Ibis at Farmington Bay WMA.

I thought a comparison of adult and juvenile White-faced Ibis might be interesting for those of you who aren’t familiar with this western species of ibis.

Life is good.



  1. Nancy Collins February 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks Mia! Great study and images!

  2. Elephant's Child February 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you. The comparison was great too.

  3. Molly February 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Gorgeous adult ibis image. Wow. My boyfriend loves your photos, too.

  4. Patty Chadwick February 13, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Until now, I thought the ibis was a tropical bird…these are very interesting shots…like being able to compare juvenile and adult. Like hummingbirds, their bills must be very short in the egg, lengthening quite quickly after hatching. Like detail in the close up….

  5. Bob McPherson February 13, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Beautiful images, Mia. Interesting info on the Ibis.

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