Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 201

Common name:

Glossy Ibis

Scientific name: Plegadis falcinellus
Date: 4 May 2012
Time: 5:20 pm
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Location: Swede Lane, Palmyra
County: Utah
Elevation: 4500 feet
Distance to bird: 200 feet
Optical equipment: Kowa Spotting Scope
Weather: Sunny, very windy
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Large
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Big body, long legs, long neck, long bill
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: All dark, rich glossy brown/maroon.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Very Long and down-curved
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Body size and shape was the same as the White-faced Ibis it was with. The Glossy Ibis had a dark eye. When the sunlight hit the eye just right I could see it was brown. All of the White-faced Ibis in the flock had obvious red eyes. The facial skin at the base of the bill, in front of the eye, was flat gray. The White-faced Ibis all had red faces. The Glossy had a thin pale blue line that outlined the facial skin in front of, above and below the eye, but not behind the eye. I didn't get a good look at the legs in the field. I've got some photos that show the legs but they are hard to see. The body color on the Glossy seemed a little richer but it was very hard to judge.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: Preening and feeding in a field of high grass with a flock of White-faced Ibis.
Habitat: Pasture of tall grass.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Eliminated White-faced Ibis by differences in eye and face color and the thin blue border around the face.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen many White-faced Ibis in Utah. I've seen a few Glossy Ibis in Massachusetts. I saw a Glossy in Utah last year and submitted a record.
References consulted: Sibley. Google image search.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Eric Huish
Observer's address: 850 E 100 N Pleasant Grove, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Dennis Shirley and Alton Thygerson saw a Glossy Ibis less than a mile south of this sighting a couple of weeks earlier. I'm not sure if it was the same bird.
Date prepared: Prepared: 6 May 2012
Additional material: Photos, Tape
Additional_Comments: I took video through the scope with my phone. It was very windy out, the scope was shaking and the Ibis was hidden by grass most of the time. Photos are stills taken from the videos.