White Ibis Eudocimus albus
Description 23-27" (58-69 cm). W. 3'2" (97 cm). Adult white with black wing tips (usually hidden at rest); bare face and down-curved bill are red; legs red in breeding season, otherwise slate-gray. Immatures brown above and white below, with brown bill and legs.
Habitat Marshes, mudflats, lagoons, and swampy forests.
Nesting 3 or 4 greenish-white eggs with dark spots or blotches in a stick nest in trees over water. Nests in colonies.
Range Coastal resident from North Carolina to Florida and Texas. Also in American tropics.
Voice Grunts and growls.
Discussion Around their colonies, ibises eat crabs and crayfish, which in turn devour quantities of fish eggs. By keeping down the numbers of crayfish, the birds help increase fish populations. In addition, their droppings fertilize the water, greatly increasing the growth of plankton, the basic food of all marsh life. White Ibises gather at dusk in spectacular roosts, long lines of birds streaming in from all directions.