White-faced Ibis

(Plegadis chihi)

Conservation Status
White-faced Ibis
Photo by Theresa Zaske
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 
  NatureServe

N4B, N4N - Apparently Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRM - Unranked Migrant

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
 
Description
 
 

White-faced Ibis is a large, long-legged, heron-like, wading bird. It occurs in western and midwestern North America from the West Coast to South Dakota and Louisiana. It is an occasional visitor in the east. There is another separate population in South America. In Minnesota it is a casual spring migrant and summer visitor, and an occasional fall migrant. Most records are in the southern half of the state.

Adults are 18 to 22 (46 to 56 cm) in length and have a wingspan of 37 to 39 (94 to 99 cm). The head, neck, and body are rich chestnut brown or maroon. The eyes are red and there is a bare patch of skin in front of each eye. The bare skin is reddish in the breeding season, pale pink in the winter. There is a white feathered border around the face that extends behind the eyes and under the chin. This is the feature that gives the species its common name. The bill is gray, long, slender, and curved downward. The wings are dark with metallic green and bronze tones. The legs are red. Juveniles are similar but lack the bare skin patch in front of the eye and the white border around the face.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 18 to 22 (46 to 56 cm)

Wingspan: 37 to 39 (94 to 99 cm)

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Fresh water and salt water marshes with rushes and sedges shallow wetlands, ponds, rivers, and flooded pastures and agricultural fields.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Primarily snails and slugs but also insects, crustaceans, spiders, leeches, and amphibians.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Casual spring migrant and summer visitor, occasional fall migrant.

The population is increasing. Records in Minnesota have risen rapidly from 1990.

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Pelecaniformes (pelicans, herons, ibises, and allies)  
 

Family

Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)
 
 

Subfamily

Threskiornithinae  
 

Genus

Plegadis  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Plegadis chichi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Theresa Zaske

 
 

Saw two of these on Friday, May 6 about a half mile north of Balaton, Minnesota.

 
    White-faced Ibis      
 

Dan W. Andree

 
 

From 4k frame grab White-faced Ibis...

I think the White-faced Ibis is the most exotic looking water bird I seen around here even though they are not exotic. One article stated they were related to the flamingo.

  White-faced Ibis  
           
 

There were just these 2 that I seen. They look like book illustrations here. It was really interesting seeing them do what they do, and felt fortunate to film them doing it.

  White-faced Ibis  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Dan W. Andree

 
  "White faced Ibis" A rare sighting in Norman County, Minnesota.
Dan W. Andree
 
   
 
About

I had never seen a White-faced Ibis before until early Spring 2021. I thought they looked like some kind of bird that would be a lot further south. Only seen them that one day and that was it. This is some of the footage. They are quite rare this far north. A pair of trumpeter swans can be heard in the distance as well as other natural sounds. 4k footage available.

   
       
 
Other Videos
 
  WHITE FACED IBIS groups flying and foraging Plegadis chihi
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Aug 19, 2018

Plegadis chihi WHITE-FACED IBIS groups flying and foraging. Russel Lakes WMA, CO 4/11/2018.

 
  White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) Chattering, Calling, Building Nests
Colette Micallef
 
   
 
About

Jul 14, 2016

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) Chattering, Calling, Building Nests - Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge - Chambers County Texas - May 25, 2016

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this bird.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Theresa Zaske
5/6/2022

Location: Balaton, Minnesota

Saw two of these on Friday, May 6 about a half mile north of Balaton, Minnesota.

White-faced Ibis  
  Dan W. Andree
5/22/2021

Location: rural Norman County, Mn.

There were just these 2 that I seen. They look like book illustrations here. It was really interesting seeing them do what they do, and felt fortunate to film them doing it.

White-faced Ibis

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 6/14/2021

Last Updated:

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