Green Ibis

Green Ibis
Photo: Inge Curtis

Virginia has recorded three species of ibises (surely not ‘ibi’), but never a Green Ibis as far as I know. Inge photographed this one in Costa Rica, close to the northern limit of a huge range across South America. So, it doesn’t strictly qualify as a Northern American bird except for occurring north of the equator and fossil relatives found in Kansas from a rather long time ago, in the Pliocene.

It prefers to feed at dawn and dusk, safer from predators, stabbing with its long down-curved bill in shallow water and mud for shrimp and amphibians. The green sheen on its neck is often unnoticed but I’m told it shimmers in the right light.

By Roger Gosden

A British and American scientist specializing in reproduction & embryology whose career spanned from Cambridge to Cornell's Weill Medical College in NYC. He married Lucinda Veeck, the embryologist for the first successful IVF team in America. They retired to Virginia, where he became a master naturalist and writer affiliated with William & Mary.

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