Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-24

Common name:

White Ibis

Scientific name: Eudocimus albus
Date: 9/11/04
Time: 9:30 am and 12:30 pm
Length of time observed: briefly at 9:30, about 30 minutes at 12:30
Number: 1
Age: ??
Sex: ??
Location: north of Route 77 west of Springville
County: Utah
Latilong: ??
Elevation: 4500 feet
Distance to bird: less than 100 meters
Optical equipment: Leupold 60 mm scope with 12x-40x zoom
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: excellent
Detailed description of bird: The bird had long pink legs and a long pink downward-curving bill. Its plumage was all white, except for black wing tips and a red face. The
size was approximately the same as that of the white-faced ibis it was feeding with. The bird was too far away to discern its eye color.
The black wing tips were very obvious in flight.  (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: I couldn't distinguish its call from the "quacking" or "grunting" of the accompanying flock of white-faced ibis.
Behavior: The bird was walking around a mowed hay field, periodically stopping to dig in the ground. It appeared to be eating whatever it was digging
up.  It occasionally stopped feeding and put its head under its wing for periods of several minutes.

The bird took off when the flock was spooked by a car that made a U-turn to see what we were looking at.
Habitat: open field
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
My first thought was that it must be a snowy egret, since its plumage appeared to be all white, and it was about the same size. The long
curved bill quickly eliminated that possibility.

The species from this area that is most similar is the white-faced ibis, so my second guess was that it might be an albino. This seems
unlikely, however, considering its black wing tips, pink beak and legs, and red face.

I know of no other similar species that inhabit this area, nor could I find any others in my bird books.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen many white-faced ibis, but never this species.
References consulted: Kauffman, National Geographic Society Guide, email communications with Milton Moody and Mark Stackhouse
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Dave Hanscom
Observer's address: 1451 Moray Court, Park City, UT 84060
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Jack Binch and Kent Lewis were with me. Milton Moody and Mark Stackhouse saw it later in the day and confirmed the identification via email.
Date prepared: 9/21/04   (General Public)
Additional material: Photos on Utah Birds website
Additional comments: