1. Home
  2. Fun Animal Facts
  3. American White Ibis Facts You Won't Believe

Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

American White Ibis Facts You Won't Believe

American white ibis facts are all about these wading birds and their traits

American white ibises are wading birds that belong to the family Threskiornithidae. These North American birds are found near the Atlantic coast. They prefer shallow water, coastal wetlands, and estuaries in Central America, Mexico, and South America. White ibises are distributed in various habitats like aquatic ponds and lakes. They are a colonial and monogamous species.

White ibises are the most common and numerous wading birds found in North America. They have a completely white plumage, with the edges of their wings being black. They continuously forage for food in flocks and nest in trees situated near water bodies. They are sociable and are found roosting, breeding, and nesting in their colonies. They have a foraging behavior and their food includes crayfish, aquatic insects, crustaceans, frogs, and some small fish. Males are very possessive and protective of female birds. Males guard female ibises and their nests and protect them throughout the day from any threats.

To know more about this fascinating bird, read on for more interesting facts. You can also read our articles on the toco toucan and song thrush.

American White Ibis Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an American white ibis?

American white ibises are wading birds that belong to the family of Threskiornithidae.

What class of animal does an American white ibis belong to?

A white ibis (Eudocimus albus) belongs to the class of Aves.

How many American white ibis are there in the world?

White ibises are geographically distributed around the world and are very common birds. However, there is no appropriate, authentic, and updated number of how many white ibises there are in the world.

Where does an American white ibis live?

White ibises live in nests situated at the top of trees, at trunk curves, or occasionally on the ground. Nests are usually built during the breeding season. They are not native to Florida but are often found in Florida, with over 30,000 birds foraging in colonies. These North American birds are found near the Atlantic coast. They are also found in shallow water and coastal wetlands of Central America, Mexico, and South America.

What is an American white ibis's habitat?

White ibises are distributed in various habitats like aquatic ponds and lakes. However, they prefer mangrove swamps, inland wetlands, and shallow coastal waters. During the summer and winter, white ibises are commonly found in coastal regions. They move inland during their breeding season for nesting because the inland becomes flooded with summer rains. White ibises have been found to change their locations because of the fall and rise of precipitation. Mudflats, wet lawns, and muddy pools are also common places where they reside in southern Florida.

Who does American white ibis live with?

These birds live in groups called a 'colony' and spend most of their time together.

How long does an American white ibis live?

A white ibis (Eudocimus albus) has a higher life expectancy which ranges from 15 to 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

White ibises are a colonial and monogamous species that go through five stages in their breeding season, which begins in early spring during March. The five stages consist of courtship, copulation, spawning, incubation, and rearing of chicks. Females form a bright red gular sac to display themselves to males. Once pairing has been done, a female and male fasten their head against each other in a courtship display.

Females lay their eggs every alternate day, with their clutch size being two to four eggs. The last stage is egg incubation which lasts for 18 to 20 days, followed by chick-rearing which lasts up to 42 days. Several behavioral changes accompany these stages. Juveniles attain their sexual maturity after three years.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, their conservation status is Least Concern.

American White Ibis Fun Facts

What does American white ibis look like?

White ibises are medium-sized wading birds. They have long necks and legs that help them in their straight flight. They have a completely white plumage, with the edges of their wings being black. These characteristics are noticeable generally during their flights. They have long and curved beaks that are bright red and black at the edges. Their legs are a vibrant reddish pink. White ibises have bare skin with a pink hue around their blue eyes. Juveniles are commonly brown above and below with a brown patch around their neck. Their legs are pinkish-orange.

American ibis adults have distinctive features like pink facial skin. Adults' wingtips are black which can be observed during their flights. Adolescent ibises lack feathers on their skin until they are four to five days old. Their feathers mature from a brownish-gray to complete white with adulthood. After hatching, juvenile white ibises possess a pinkish-white beak that is straight, which later tends to bend during adulthood.

American white ibis facts illustrate their significance and habitat.

How cute are they?

This bird species is cute and friendly. They are sociable, and they generally live in colonies.

How do they communicate?

White ibises are social birds and they usually live in colonies. They communicate with other species with the help of calls and cries. They honk, chirp, and produce various sounds or calls to communicate with each other.

How big is an American white ibis?

They are 21-28 in (53-70 cm) in length and have a wingspan of about 22-26.7 in (56-68 cm). They are around four times bigger than yellow warblers.

How fast can an American white ibis fly?

There is no such appropriate calculation of their flying speed. They have an undulating speed and gait.

How much does an American white ibis weigh?

An American white ibis's weight ranges between an average of 1.9-2.8 lb (0.9-1.3 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

In terms of sex, there is no such classification based on males and females, and so their species are collectively known as American white ibis.

What would you call a baby American white ibis?

A young or a baby American white ibis is called 'a chick'.

What do they eat?

A white ibis (Eudocimus albus) has a foraging behavior where it continuously forages for prey in its colony, found in their preferred habitat of marshy regions. These wading birds even dive 3-6 in (7.8-15.24 cm) deep to forage for their prey in wetlands and shallow waters. This bird's diet includes crayfish, aquatic insects, crustaceans, frogs, and some small fish. They are carnivorous and these birds can adjust their food and diet according to their habitat and the availability.

How to catch an American white ibis?

These North American birds are successfully caught with the help of a Rocket net trap. These traps are widely used in North America, especially in Florida to catch this species.

Why does American white ibis always stand on one leg?

American white ibises stand on one leg because it maintains and reduces the amount of body heat, cooling their arteries.

Did you know...

Interestingly, these birds from North America cannot see their prey. They sense and capture their food under the water's surface with the help of their beak.

White ibises symbolize the origin of humankind and the Egyptians used to believe that the white plumage of ibises relate to sunlight.

How long is the beak of American white ibis?

Although this species has long curved bills, their exact length has never been measured. However, they have a culmen of 4.3–6.7 in (11-17 cm).

What are the predators of an American white ibis?

This species of bird has various predators with the most common ones being monkeys, birds of prey, snakes, iguanas, and crows.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds, including greater sage-grouse, or marbled murrelet.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our ibis bird coloring pages.

Subscribe_Hero
Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000's of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.

EXPLORE KIDADL
In need of more inspiration?