Paynes Prairie: White Ibis

A White IbisThe White Ibis breeds and is considered abundant on Paynes Prairie. They are also one of the most abundant birds in Florida and the southeast. It is classified as a wading bird, and thrives in marshes, mudflats, flooded pastures, lake edges, mangrove lagoons, and grassy fields. This species of bird breeds in masses and colonies, which is why there are so many on the prairie.

If you want to identify this bird, you can easily spot it by its decurved red bill, white feathers and blank wing tips. They are usually about 22-27 inches tall, and fly with their necks outstretched.

They feed mainly off of insects, snails, frogs, marine worms, snakes, and small fish. You can probably find one feeding in a small marsh on the prairie by sweeping its bill from side to side. If you can't find one feeding, you will find their nest in mangroves, trees or thickets about 2-15 feet above the water.

Check out this bird's call (click on listen to this species on this page).

If you have any questions on the sources of this page, please visit the bibliographies page. Or feel free to contact Kristin Ede at kristinede@hotmail.com