Bird of the Week: White Ibis

    12:28 PM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Sarah Baxter with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stops by "THV 11 News at Noon" to talk about the white ibis.

    This is a wading bird of the deep South, and they are present in southern Arkansas from the end of March through late October or early November. They breed in Arkansas in relatively low numbers. 

    The adults are primarily white with black wingtips, and the juveniles have lots of brown, with a white rump patch , belly, and breast. This time of year, there are lots of juvenile White Ibis around, due to post-breeding dispersal.

    If people go looking for White Ibis in Arkansas in August, they will be on the lookout for brown birds! One of the most obvious field characteristics of this bird is the downcurved bill. It uses that bill to probe in the mud for insects. Preferred habitat for this species is very similar to that of the Roseate Spoonbill that we talked about last week.

    They like wetland areas with sparse vegetation, and mudflats. Great places to find them in Arkansas are Bois D'Arc WMA, Lake Millwood, Bayou Meto WMA, and Bald Knob NWR (which is just about their northernmost range for Arkansas). This is another species that is really great for "car birding" you can spot them easily in many places while birding from a county road, and never have to leave the comfortable air conditioning of your car!

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