Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/01/2014

Photo taken on July 28, 2014

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Anne Elliott
Plegadis chihi
White-faced Ibis
Family: Threskiornithidae
SE of Calgary
Frank Lake area
dropped before Scouted
screen shot taken
Genus: Plegadis
pink bare face bordered with white feathers
iridescent plumage
very rare in Alberta
side view
water plants
wading bird

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Gorgeous iridescent feathers

Gorgeous iridescent feathers
I don't think I've posted any photos from 28 July 2014, when I drove along some of the dusty, gravel backroads SE of the city. It was another really hot day, so I just had to get out of the house and into the air-conditioning of my vehicle. Once again, I was lucky to come across a lone White-faced Ibis on one of the small sloughs in the area. Quite a distance away, but not too bad using 48x zoom plus a tiny bit of cropping. There were a few other Ibis flying over the area, but too far away to try and photograph. This one was hanging out with a family of American Avocets. I always think that these beautiful birds look like they have escaped from the Zoo.

Other birds seen that afternoon/evening included a Barn Swallow, a young Marsh Wren that was enjoying a dust bath, a single young Sora, several Coots including one young one, two or three different species of shore bird (will eventually post photos, but I may not have the IDs), American Avocets, a couple of Swainson's Hawks, and a Meadowlark (looking rather scruffy, so may have been a young one).

"A dark wading bird with a long, down-curved bill, the White-faced Ibis is a western replacement for the Glossy Ibis. Similar in appearance and habits, the two species can be distinguished only by slight differences in coloring of the face and legs. From AllAboutBirds.

In the book, "Birds of Alberta" by Fisher & Acorn, it says that, in Alberta, White-faced Ibis are very rare from May to September. Length is 22-25" (56-64 cm), wingspan 3'1" (94 cm).

I'm not sure, but there seemed to be no sign of the beautiful Maximilian's Sunflowers that I love to see each year. This species found its way here, I believe from eastern Canada, and this was the only location where I have seen it. I did notice a couple of large holes in this area, which looked like someone may have dug up the plants. If so, who knows if it was because they wanted the plants in their garden or because this species in a non-native plant here.

This is a long weekend here in Canada - Monday, 4 August 2014 is Heritage Day. Have a good, safe holiday, everyone!

Cats 99 has particularly liked this photo

Cats 99
Cats 99
Such a wonderful sighting and capture! Oh, I hope I see one of these sometime!
4 years ago.