Ibis Face-Key Largo, FL

Just sharing some images of the colorful American White Ibis taken last Friday during a trip made to Key Largo for a meeting. Although it was a drippy day, I was happy to squish through the mud to watch and photograph birds along Florida Bay.   The mature breeding Ibis exhibits extremely reddened legs and bill which contrast so beautifully with its gorgeous, light blue eyes. My alma mater is the Univeristy of Miami whose mascot is the Ibis. A tidbit from Wikipedia is that the “Ibis was selected as the school mascot because of its legendary bravery during hurricanes. According to legend, the ibis is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to reappear once the storm has passed.” It is a ubiquitous bird here in South Florida and can be seen in urban settings, like my front lawn, as well as in wetland trees or probing shallow coastal waters and marshes. I love seeing flocks of these white birds sailing over the yellow green stretches of mangroves and the everglades. Just a beautiful sight! They are such a common bird that I tend to take them for granted, but still take great pleasure in their presence and character. My Sunday morning constitutional today brought sights of groups of juvenile ibis’ which are a mottled brown in color pecking at various lawns for some nice juicy insects or worms. But here are some colorful grown ups to brighten up the day!! Personally, I think the American White Ibis should be the Florida State Bird rather than the Northern Mockingbird.



Colorful Ibis perches on rocks along Florida Bay, Key Largo, FL

Brilliantly colored Ibis preens beside the waters of Florida Bay, Key Largo

A black and white treatment for such a balletic pose!!

Ibis preens beside the waters of Florida Bay, Key Largo

These Ibis images bring with them my wishes for a Warm and

Happy Thanksgiving Celebration to Everyone!!

Certainly we can add the diverse bird and wildlife which grace our lives to our list of things to be grateful for!!

As Ever,


~ by Judy on November 24, 2014.

22 Responses to “Ibis”

  1. Beautiful shots! I really love these! Nicely framed, great poses. Wonderful images.

    • The Ibis is really a very colorful bird and has a pleasant expression…not fierce as herons can look…cute and friendly looking. I am so pleased that you enjoyed these shots and poses the bird took on.

  2. That was quite a startling picture with which to open!

    • I guess the coloring is pretty dramatic. I am often amazed by the intensity of the coloring of the bill and legs with this bird just viewing them in their environment. Trying to think what other birds have startling blue eyes only the mature brown pelican comes to mind.

      • Well, I do have a picture of a blue-eyed New Zealand sheep that people have trouble accepting as real.

        And, no, Judy, I don’t think sheep are birds . . . though I wouldn’t stand under one as it flies by!

      • That reminds me of this ditty my brother, Darby, liked to say when he was around 12yo…..”Birdy, Birdy in the sky, why’d you do that in my eye? I’m a big boy, I won’t cry; but, I’m sure glad elephants don’t fly?” 🙂 Sheep either!!

  3. Beautiful photos, as always. Happy Thanksgiving, Judy!

  4. The ibis is such an elegant bird. It occasionally pays us a visit, a delicate contrast to the usual heavyweight waders of Breydon Water.

    • I think Ibises are very elegant in flight and moving over the everglades in large flocks, just really seem to embody the essence of Florida! They are cute and expressive too. Sometimes the most abundant can be overlooked as ordinary, undeservedly.

  5. Judy a common bird maybe but image captures that make them stand out from the crowd. Really lovely work. Kath.

    • I do love it when the setting is interesting for a bird portrait and don’t even mind waiting a bit or relocating myself for a better view of a flattering pose as the bird goes about being itself. Thanks so much for the input on these shots!!

  6. Such wonderful photos! The ibis is one of my favorites, and one I get to see from time to time, though they aren’t exactly common here. I’ve never seen one so beautifully colored, though. Perhaps when it’s mating season they head off to the rookeries to our east.

    You certainly have a knack for capturing these creatures, and we’re all thankful for that!

    • I was rather amazed the first time I saw an Ibis in full breeding colors. Truly in person the color is so vivid as to appear unreal. But, I suppose this is true with birds around the world which exhibit heightened saturation courtesy of their hormones, not Photoshop!! They don’t attract the opposite sex; they attract hordes of photographers and artists…you can’t help but be inspired by such prettiness.

  7. Beautiful portraits; I love these guys!! I had no idea about ibis lore — that’s fascinating. Brave little birds! 🙂

    • Can’t believe I didn’t answer this comment already!! Yeah, I didn’t know that either and I went to the U of M with the Ibis mascot. Guess I just wasn’t thinking about birds in those days!!

      Happy New Year!!

  8. I saw your gravatar among “likes” on Phil Lanou’s blog and came here intrigued and am leaving now marveled. What a discovery!

    • I appreciate very much your kind comment and welcome your visit anytime!! Phil Lanoue is one of my favourite bird photographers too!! I keep saying I need to work on birds in flight pictures, then everytime I go out, I choose to aim at the ones just standing around looking pretty!!

      • 🙂 there is another quality in your photos besides technical perfection – your photos are not just excellent and impeccable, there is poetry in them too.

      • What a wonderful thing to say. I like to look at it as living artistry. Just watching the birds go about being themselves offers so many truly balletic poses. You find yourself waiting and watching for the perfect tilt of the head or position of the wing to try and capture something pretty and elegant. I am so glad you see poetry in it as it amazes me all the time.

  9. Beautiful photographs of the ibis! I like how you even captured the blue of its eyes. I’m glad, too, that you noted the folklore behind how the bird became Miami’s mascot!

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