Plegadis falcinellus - (Linnaeus, 1766)
Glossy Ibis
Other English Common Names: glossy ibis
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus, 1766) (TSN 174924)
French Common Names: Ibis falcinelle
Spanish Common Names: Ibis Cara Oscura
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101242
Element Code: ABNGE02010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Wading Birds
Image 11034

© Jeff Nadler

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae Plegadis
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Plegadis falcinellus
Taxonomic Comments: Sometimes considered conspecific with P. chihi, but sympatric breeding occurs in Louisiana (AOU 1983, 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 20Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Still common in portions of large range. Population trend is unknown for many regions.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4B,N4N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (04Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S1B,S3N), Arkansas (SH), Connecticut (S1B), Delaware (S1B), Florida (S3), Georgia (S2), Idaho (S1B), Louisiana (S2), Maine (S2B), Maryland (S3B), Massachusetts (S2B), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S3B,S4N), New York (S2), North Carolina (S1S2B), Rhode Island (S1B), South Carolina (SHB,SNRN), Tennessee (S3N), Texas (S3), Virginia (S2B,S1N)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: 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.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include development and disturbance of nesting habitat; storms and other natural processes sometimes have adverse effects (Byrd and Johnston 1991).

Short-term Trend Comments: Population increases in the south-central U.S. may be related to favorable foraging opportunities afforded by expanding crayfish aquaculture (Fleury and Sherry 1995).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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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.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, LA, MA, MD, ME, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA
Canada ON

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Mobile (01097)
CT Fairfield (09001), Middlesex (09007), New Haven (09009), New London (09011)
DE New Castle (10003)
FL Alachua (12001), Brevard (12009), Broward (12011), Charlotte (12015), Citrus (12017), Collier (12021), Hamilton (12047), Hardee (12049), Hendry (12051), Highlands (12055)*, Hillsborough (12057), Lake (12069), Manatee (12081), Martin (12085), Monroe (12087), Okeechobee (12093)*, Palm Beach (12099), Pinellas (12103), Polk (12105), Sumter (12119)
GA Camden (13039), Glynn (13127), Lowndes (13185), Mcintosh (13191)
ID Fremont (16043), Jefferson (16051)
LA Cameron (22023)
NC Brunswick (37019), Carteret (37031), Currituck (37053), Dare (37055), Hyde (37095), New Hanover (37129)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Bergen (34003), Cape May (34009), Hudson (34017), Ocean (34029), Salem (34033)
NY Bronx (36005), Kings (36047), Nassau (36059), Richmond (36085), Suffolk (36103), Westchester (36119)
RI Newport (44005), Washington (44009)
SC Charleston (45019)*
VA Accomack (51001), Northampton (51131)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Narragansett (01090004)+, Thames (01100003)+, Quinnipiac (01100004)+
02 Bronx (02030102)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+, Southern Long Island (02030202)+, Long Island Sound (02030203)+, Delaware Bay (02040204)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+*, Eastern Lower Delmarva (02040304)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+
03 Albemarle (03010205)+, Pamlico Sound (03020105)+, Lower Neuse (03020204)+, White Oak River (03020301)+, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+, Four Hole Swamp (03050206)+*, Altamaha (03070106)+, Cumberland-St. Simons (03070203)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Cape Canaveral (03080202)+, Western Okeechobee Inflow (03090103)+*, Lake Okeechobee (03090201)+*, Everglades (03090202)+, Florida Bay-Florida Keys (03090203)+, Big Cypress Swamp (03090204)+, Caloosahatchee (03090205)+, Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+, Peace (03100101)+, Myakka (03100102)+, Alafia (03100204)+, Tampa Bay (03100206)+, Withlacoochee (03100208)+, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Alapaha (03110202)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+
08 Mermentau (08080202)+
17 Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: A medium-sized wading bird with a long, slender, decurved bill, long legs, and a long neck (extended in flight); adult plumage is basically all dark (chestnut, partially glossed with green and purple during the breeding season); immatures and winter adults have some pale streaking or spotting on the head and neck (elsewhere all dark); average length 58 cm, wingspan 91 cm (NGS 1983).
Diagnostic Characteristics: 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).
Reproduction Comments: 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).
Ecology Comments: Nonbreeding: solitary or in small groups when feeding (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, Scrub-shrub wetland, Tidal flat/shore
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Habitat 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.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore
Food 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.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 58 centimeters
Weight: 506 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Colonial Wading Birds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Breeding Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Small heron colonies (rookeries or heronries) are often ephemeral in nature; recommend tracking rookeries which maintain a minimum of 15 active nests over 2-3 years. Where concentrations of non-breeding individuals occur within the boundaries of a breeding occurrence (especially if augmented by migrants), consider creating a separate occurrence with Location Use Class 'Nonbreeding.'
Mapping Guidance: Map Foraging Areas in separate polygons from the breeding colony if they are separated from the colony by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Occurrences include breeding colonies and foraging areas, but the separation distance pertains to breediing colonies. Hence, difference occurrences may overlap. Unsuitable habitat: upland areas, except those known to be used regularly for foraging (e.g., meadows used by great egrets).

Separation distance is an arbitrary compromise between the high mobility of these birds and the need for occurrences of practical size for conservation planning. Occurrences do not necessarily represent discrete populations or metapopulations.

Colony fidelity low in some species (e.g. Roseate Spoonbill, Dumas 2000; Glossy Ibis, Davis and Kricher 2000).

Feeding areas associated with a breeding colony (i.e. different features of the same occurrence) may be a number of kilometers away from the colony: averaging 12 kilometers for Roseate Spoonbill (Dumas 2000); 7.3 kilometers for Glossy Ibis (Davis and Kricher 2000); 2.8 to more than 5 kilometers for Snowy Egrets (Smith 1995).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: A low mean foraging range size for this group.
Date: 28Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of flocks of non-breeding birds (including historical), including non-breeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season; and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 10 birds occur regularly for at least 20 days per year would be deemed occurrences. Be cautious about creating occurrences for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of manageable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on foraging ranges from breeding rookeries.
Date: 19Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Apr1988
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 16Nov1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Ridgely, R. S. and J. A. Gwynne, Jr. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. 2nd edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA.

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  • See SERO listing

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  • Smith, J. P. 1995. Foraging flights and habitat use of nesting wading birds (Ciconiiformes) at Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Colonial Waterbirds 18:139-158.

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Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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