“and for a long time birds and hedgehogs, and ibises and ravens shall dwell in it: and the measuring line of desolation shall be cast over it, and satyrs shall dwell in it.” (Isaiah 34:11 Brenton)
A week or so ago, while in Tampa, we spotted a huge flock of Glossy Ibises. One or two, three maybe, but well over 90? That was a total SURPRISE!
That is one of the joys of going birdwatching. You never know what may appear to when you think it will just be like last time. We go over to MacDill AFB every couple of months and half the time we take our cameras. They have a beach on the tip of the peninsula it sits on, and there usually is some avian wonders down there to observe. [As I’ve mentioned previously, my back has been acting up and we haven’t done much birding.] We can park just a few yards from the beach, which doesn’t require a lot of walking for me. This time of the year, there is usually not a lot of activity.
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. (Psalms 37:16 KJV)
I did catch Dan who had walked over to where most of the birds were. I only concentrated on a small shore bird near me.
We had spotted all the Glossy Ibises in the field along the road to the beach and were hoping that they were still there when we returned from the beach. We were almost back to them when we were delighted to spot two Roseate Spoonbills.
Not far past them, we arrived where the Ibises had been and sure enough, they were waiting for us. My thinking is that they were on their way somewhere, in migration, and had landed to rest and feed. Possible to avoid a coming storm. Right after these photos were taken, we got soaked by a rainstorm as we were entering the commissary (Grocery).
Wikipedia has this to say about the “glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. The scientific name derives from Ancient Greek plegados and Latin, falcis, both meaning “sickle” and referring to the distinctive shape of the bill.”
But still, why so many? Here is an answer, again from Wikipedia, “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 ibises often roost communally at night in large flocks, with other species, occasionally in trees which can be some distance from wetland feeding areas.” (bolding mine)
I’ve included a gallery of photos so you can see them better. If you look in the background, you will see many more of them. Also mixed in is another Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egrets, White Ibises and at least one Snowy Egret. When I zoomed in, the photos aren’t all that clear, but you can see the species.
Birds of the World – Threskiornithidae – Ibises, Spoonbills
Birds of the Bible – Isaiah 34:11
Glossy Ibis – Wikipedia
Glossy Ibis – All About Birds
Glossy Ibis – Audubon
Glossy Ibis – WhatBird
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These are wonderful, Lee. Makes me wish I could just stop what I’m doing and go a-birding! Those migrating Glossy Ibises are fascinating — as are also the Roseate Spoonbills.
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Maybe next time you are down here, then some of them may have remained for you to see them. :)
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