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5

Glossy Ibis

(Plegadis falcinellus)
Alternate name(s): Misnomer: "Black Curlew"
Size: 48-66 cm; wing span: 80-105 cm
Weight: 485-970 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Glossy Ibis at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Frontal view of a Glossy Ibises in breeding plumage walking towards the observer (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Tiger Bay Wetlands, Warren, NSW, October 2017]

Frontal view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage
[Near Urunga, NSW, March 2015]

Near-lateral view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Black Duck Reserve, Murrumba Downs, QLD, September 2017]

Lateral view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Black Duck Reserve, Murrumba Downs, QLD, September 2017]

Lateral view of a preening Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2020]

Lateral view of a moulting Glossy Ibis, making it look like a "Bald-necked Ibis" (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Lake Cullen, VIC, November 2018]

Lateral view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage with its bill wide open
[40 km S of Mungindi, NSW, January 2023]

Near-dorsal view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Black Duck Reserve, Murrumba Downs, QLD, September 2017]

Dorsal view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage
[40 km S of Mungindi, NSW, January 2023]

Direct comparison of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage with Australian White Ibises
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2017]

Lateral view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage; this comparison with Grey Teals shows clearly that Glossy Ibises are in essence duck-sized birds with a long bill, neck and legs
[Near Urunga, NSW, March 2015]

Lateral/ventral view of a Glossy Ibis in breeding plumage in flight
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2012]

NON-BREEDING

Close-up (near-)lateral view of 4 resting Glossy Ibises in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, May 2024]

Close-up lateral view of a Glossy Ibis in non-breeding plumage stretching its wings (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, May 2024]

Close-up lateral view of a Glossy Ibis in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Knuckey Lagoon, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Close-up lateral view of two Glossy Ibises in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, August 2015]

Close-up lateral view of Glossy Ibises foraging on grassland (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, August 2015]

Near-dorsal view of Glossy Ibises (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Sandy Camp Road Wetlands, Lytton, QLD, November 2018]

Dorsal view of two resting Glossy Ibises in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, April 2021]

Mob of resting Glossy Ibises in non-breeding plumage; who can spot the Black Swan? (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, May 2024]

Comparison of a Glossy Ibis with an Australian (Purple) Swamphen (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, August 2015]

Comparison of a Glossy Ibis with two Radjah Shelducks (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[McMinns Lagoon, near Darwin, NT, September 2018]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Glossy Ibis looking towards the observer (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of 5 Glossy Ibises comprising 3 adults (brown heads) and 2 juvenile birds (grey heads; second and third from the right); in the foreground a Pacific Black Duck
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2016]

Near-dorsal view of two Glossy Ibises banking to land; adult in breeding plumage, front left, and juvenile, far right
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2016]

Additional information

More photos of Glossy Ibises were obtained by us in Oman.

Behaviour

Social behaviour: ? Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Family clan/flock

Glossy Ibises usually appear in small numbers, with only moderate flock sizes. Like many migratory/dispersive bird species, Glossy Ibises know how to reduce air resistance by flying in chevron formations.

Small flock of Glossy Ibises (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, May 2023]

Part of a small flock of Glossy Ibises (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, May 2023]

Small flock of Glossy Ibises in breeding plumage with juveniles (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Tiger Bay Wetlands, Warren, NSW, October 2017]

Part of a small flock of Glossy Ibises in flight (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Herdsman, Perth, WA, May 2023]

Lateral/ventral view of a skein of Glossy Ibises in flight in a chevron formation
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2015]

Lateral/ventral view of a skein of Glossy Ibises in flight in a chevron formation
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2015]

Food, Diet

Ibises feed on small animals, from insects to leeches, moluscs, mussles and crustaceans, that they pull out of mud or soft soil.

Lateral view of an adult Glossy Ibis (left) and two immature birds feeding in shallow water, with an Australian White Ibis for comparison
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2012]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

We will try to replace this poor recording with a better one as soon as possible.

glibis_20161221.mp3 (N NSW) Warning/departure
(partial recording)
© MD

More Glossy Ibis sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.