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Overview

Distribution

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: in North America locally from Maine and Rhode Island (recorded also in Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; McAlpine et al. 1988) south to Florida, and west on the Gulf Coast to Louisiana, also inland, at least causally, in Arkansas (Blytheville). Major concentration of breeding in the U.S. is in southern New Jersey, Delaware Bay, and the lower coasts of the Delmarva Peninsula (Spendelow and Patton 1988); apparently the breeding range has been shifting northward on the Atlantic coast during the past few decades (Byrd and Johnston 1991). Breeds also in northwestern Costa Rica; Greater Antilles (Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico); northern Venezuela; and widely in the Old World. NORTHERN WINTER: north to southern Louisiana, northern Florida; also regularly in eastern North Carolina and Virginia), sometimes in New Jersey; south through the breeding range and in the Old World. In the U.S., the highest winter densities occur in peninsular Florida (Root 1988). Wanders outside usual range.

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Caribbean; North America; range extends from New Brunswick to southern Florida
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Range

Locally in e N and s S America, Africa, Eurasia to Australasia.

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Transient

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 58 cm

Weight: 506 grams

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Diagnostic Description

Description

Length: 55-71 cm. Plumage: dark with purple gloss on neck, back and head, green gloss on wing coverts; non-breeding greener with greyish below. Immature sooty black with brown below. Bare parts: iris brown; facial skin purplish black, blue at start of breeding season; bill olive brown, decurved; feet and legs olive brown. Habitat:<388><393><391>
  • Brown, L.H., E.K. Urban & K. Newman (1982). The Birds of Africa, Volume I. Academic Press, London.
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Breeding adult differs from breeding adult white-faced ibis by olive-brown (vs. reddish) bill, brown (vs. red) eyes, gray-green legs with red joints (vs. all-red legs), and lack of a white feathered area adjacent to facial skin; also, in glossy ibis, pale edge of gray facial skin does not extend behind eye or under chin (white-faced ibis adult has white behind eye and under chin). Winter adult differs from winter adult white-faced ibis in usually having a pale line between the eye and bill (line absent in white-faced). In first fall plaumage, indistinguishable from immature white-faced ibis (NGS 1983).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour All populations of this species undergo post-breeding dispersal movements (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and are considerably nomadic (Snow and Perrins 1998). In addition northern breeding populations are fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and may travel on a broad front (e.g. across the Sahara) (Brown et al. 1982). Northern and southern breeding populations breed during the local spring, whilst breeding elsewhere coincides with the rains (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The species nests in mixed-species colonies, either in small groups (e.g. 5-100 pairs in Africa) (Brown et al. 1982) or in large aggregations of thousands of pairs, and during the winter or dry seasons the species usually forages in small flocks (Hancock et al. 1992, del Hoyo et al. 1992) of up to 30 indivduals (Brown et al. 1982). It often roosts communally at night in large groups (sometimes thousands of individuals) with other species, occasionally in trees far from wetland feeding sites (Brown et al. 1982). Habitat The species feeds in very shallow water (Hancock et al. 1992) and nests in freshwater or brackish wetlands with tall dense stands of emergent vegetation (e.g. reeds or rushes) and low trees or bushes (Marchant and Higgins 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1992). It shows a preference for marshes at the edges of lakes and rivers (Hancock et al. 1992), as well as lagoons, flood-plains, wet meadows (Marchant and Higgins 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1992), swamps (del Hoyo et al. 1992), reservoirs (Hancock et al. 1992), sewage ponds, rice-fields and irrigated cultivation (Marchant and Higgins 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1992). It less often occurs in coastal locations such as estuaries, deltas, saltmarshes (Hancock et al. 1992) and coastal lagoons (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Roosting sites are often large trees that may be far from water (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1992). Diet The diet of the species varies seasonally depending on what is available (Hancock et al. 1992). It takes adult and larval insects (e.g. aquatic beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers, crickets, flies and caddisflies), worms, leeches, molluscs (e.g. snails and mussels), crustaceans (e.g. crabs and crayfish) and occasionally fish, frogs, tadpoles, lizards, small snakes and nestling birds (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Breeding site The nest is a platform of twigs and vegetation usually positioned less than 1 m above water (occasionally up to 7 m) in tall dense stands of emergent vegetation (e.g. reeds or rushes), low trees or bushes over water (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Comments: Marshes, swamps, lagoons, pond margins, lakes, flooded pastures; fresh, brackish, and salt water. Reported as mainly in freshwater habitats on the Atlantic coast of Florida, more common in saltwater habitats in Louisiana (Spendelow and Patton 1988). Nests usually with herons or other water birds, on the ground in a marsh or in small trees or bushes near water (e.g., in Baccharis, IVA, and Myrica along the U.S. Atlantic coast). See Spendelow and Patton (1988) for further details on nesting habitat in different regions.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats crayfishes, insects, water snakes, and other small aquatic animals (Palmer 1962). Probes/gleans in soft mud and shallow water. Young are fed by regurgitation.

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General Ecology

Nonbreeding: solitary or in small groups when feeding (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 26.8 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen lived for 26.8 years in captivity (Brouwer et al. 1994).
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Reproduction

Clutch size usually is 3-4 (3 in south). Incubation, by both sexes (male during part of daylight period), lasts about 21 days. Young are tended by both parents, fly well and get own food at 4-6 weeks. Nests in small colonies; most colonies include less than 100 breeders (but up to about 1800) (Spendelow and Patton 1988).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Plegadis falcinellus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Plegadis falcinellus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNCTAATCTTTGGTGCATGAGCTGGTATAATCGGAACAGCACTCAGCTTATTAATTCGTGCAGAACTGGGACAACCAGGCACCCTCCTGGGAGACGACCAAATCTACAACGTAATTGTCACCGCCCATGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTAATACCAATCATGATCGGCGGATTTGGCAACTGACTTGTGCCCCTTATAATCGGGGCACCCGATATAGCATTCCCACGCATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTCCTTCCCCCCTCCTTCCTTCTCCTTCTAGCCTCTTCCACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGCAGGCACAGGGTGAACTGTATACCCACCACTTGCCGGCAACCTTGCCCATGCTGGTGCCTCAGTAGACCTTGCCATCTTCTCCCTCCACCTAGCAGGGGTGTCATCTATCTTAGGGGCAATTAACTTCATCACAACTGCTATCAACATAAAACCACCCGCCCTTTCACAATACCAAACACCCCTATTCGTCTGATCTGTCTTAATCACTGCCGTCTTACTGTTACTATCGCTCCCAGTCCTCGCTGCTGGTATTACCATACTACTAACAGATCGAAACCTAAATACCACATTCTTCGACCCAGCTGGAGGAGGAGACCCCGTCCTATACCAACACCTANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Status in Egypt

Regular passage visitor.

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4B,N4N : N4B: Apparently Secure - Breeding, N4N: Apparently Secure - Nonbreeding

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Still common in portions of large range. Population trend is unknown for many regions.

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Population

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The species is threatened by wetland habitat degradation and loss (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998) through drainage (Marchant and Higgins 1990, Hancock et al. 1992) for irrigation and hydroelectric power production (Balian et al. 2002), clearing, grazing, burning, increased salinity, groundwater extraction and invasion by exotic plants (Marchant and Higgins 1990). It is also threatened locally by hunting (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998), disturbance and pesticides (del Hoyo et al. 1992), and is susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006).
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Comments: Threats include development and disturbance of nesting habitat; storms and other natural processes sometimes have adverse effects (Byrd and Johnston 1991).

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Wikipedia

Glossy Ibis

The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae.

Distribution[edit]

This is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean[2] region of the Americas. It is thought to have originated in the Old World and spread naturally from Africa to northern South America in the 19th century, from where it spread to North America.[3] This species is migratory; most European birds winter in Africa, and in North America[4] birds from north of the Carolinas winter farther south. Birds from other populations may disperse widely outside the breeding season. While generally declining in Europe it has recently established a breeding colony in Southern Spain, and there appears to be a growing trend for the Spanish birds to winter in Britain and Ireland, with at least 22 records in 2010.[5]

Breeding plumage

Behaviour[edit]

Glossy Ibises undertake dispersal movements after breeding and are very nomadic. The more northerly populations are fully migratory and travel on a broad front, for example across the Sahara Desert. Populations in temperate regions breed during the local spring, while tropical populations nest to coincide with the rainy season. Nesting is often in mixed-species colonies. When not nesting flocks of over 100 individuals may occur on migration, and during the winter or dry seasons the species is usually found foraging in small flocks. Glossy Ibis often roosts communally at night in large flocks, with other species, occasionally in trees which can be some distance from wetland feeding areas.

Habitat[edit]

Glossy Ibis feed in very shallow water and nest in freshwater or brackish wetlands with tall dense stands of emergent vegetation such as reeds, papyrus or rushes) and low trees or bushes. They show a preference for marshes at the margins of lakes and rivers but can also be found at lagoons, flood-plains, wet meadows, swamps, reservoirs, sewage ponds, paddies and irrigated farmland. It is less commonly found in coastal locations such as estuaries, deltas, salt marshes and coastal lagoons. Preferred roosting sites are normally in large trees which may distant from the feeding areas.

The nests are usually a platform of twigs and vegetation positioned at least 1 m (3.3 ft) above water, sometimes up to 7 m (23 ft) in tall, dense stands of emergent vegetation, low trees or bushes.[6]

Brooklyn Museum - Glossy Ibis - John J. Audubon

Diet[edit]

The diet of the Glossy Ibis is variable according to the season and is very dependent on what is available. Prey includes adult and larval insects such as aquatic beetles, dragonflies, damselflies, grasshoppers, crickets, flies and caddisflies, Annelida including leeches, molluscs (e.g. snails and mussels), crustaceans (e.g. crabs and crayfish) and occasionally fish, amphibians, lizards, small snakes and nestling birds.[6]

Description[edit]

This species is a mid-sized ibis. It is 48–66 cm (19–26 in) long, averaging around 59.4 cm (23.4 in) with an 80–105 cm (31–41 in) wingspan.[7][8] The culmen measures 9.7 to 14.4 cm (3.8 to 5.7 in) in length, each wing measures 24.8–30.6 cm (9.8–12.0 in), the tail is 9–11.2 cm (3.5–4.4 in) and the tarsus measures 6.8–11.3 cm (2.7–4.4 in).[8] The body mass of this ibis can range from 485 to 970 g (1.069 to 2.138 lb).[8] Breeding adults have reddish-brown bodies and shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller bodies. This species has a brownish bill, dark facial skin bordered above and below in blue-gray (non-breeding) to cobalt blue (breeding), and red-brown legs. Unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched, their flight being graceful and often in V-formation.

Sounds made by this rather quiet ibis include a variety of croaks and grunts, including a hoarse grrrr made when breeding.

Conservation[edit]

The Glossy Ibis is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Glossy Ibises are threatened by wetland habitat degradation and loss through drainage, increased salinity, groundwater extraction and invasion by exotic plants.[6]

The common name Black Curlew may be a reference to the Glossy Ibis and this name appears in Anglo-Saxon literature, indicating that it may have bred in early medieval England but Walden & Albarella do not mention this species.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Plegadis falcinellus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ S L Olson, H F James and C A Meister (1981). "Winter field notes and specimen weights of Cayman Island birds". Bulletin of The British Ornithologists' Club 101: 339–346. "Wetmore observed an adult and an immature with herons in the West Bay district, 3 February 1972. Johnston et al. (1971) list but one sighting on GC (Grand Cayman) and 2 on CB (Cayman Brac)." 
  3. ^ Patten, Michael A. "Range Expansion of the Glossy Ibis in North America". North American Birds 54 (3): 241–247. 
  4. ^ Taft, Dave (June 28, 2013). "Glossy Ibises Are Like 21st-Century Pterodactyls". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ Hudson N. & the Rarities Committee, Report on Rare Birds in Great Britain 2010, British Birds 104, pp. 557–629
  6. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2012). Plegadis falcinellus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  7. ^ Glossy ibis videos, photos and facts – Plegadis falcinellus. ARKive. Retrieved on 2013-03-05.
  8. ^ a b c Hancock, Kushlan & Kahl (1992). Storks, Ibises, and Spoonbills of the World. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-322730-0. 
  9. ^ Yalden D.W. & Albarella U. (2009), The History of British Birds, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-958116-0

Further reading[edit]

  • Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic
  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 4th Edition
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Sometimes considered conspecific with P. CHIHI, but sympatric breeding occurs in Louisiana (AOU 1983, 1998).

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