A Rare Winter Visitor

How good at bird identification are you? Can you identify this recent visitor I found at Squaw Creek NWR in northwest Missouri?


Juvenile White-Faced Ibis


Juvenile White-Faced Ibis preening


Juvenile White-Faced Ibis



If you guessed “Ibis”, you are correct. But is this a juvenile White-Faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) or a juvenile Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)? There seems to be an uncertainty among many of the birders visiting Squaw Creek. But from reports I’ve heard in the birding world, most think it is a juvenile White-Faced Ibis. According to two of my bird ID books, the 2 species are essentially “indistinguishable” as juveniles, with the best guess being based on the birds’ ranges. Well, that would place the mystery bird as likely being a White-Faced Ibis; we normally don’t have either species here, but the White-Faced Ibis’ range is closer to us than the Glossy Ibis’ range. In either case, he was quite a sight to see, and only one was on the refuge.

In another post, I’ll share some behavioral shots of this little guy … he was quite the little fisherman!





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  • A beautiful bird! Hope he manages well in the Missouri climate.

  • Thank you, Julie. I’m pretty sure he has headed southward … must be a “snow bird”! LOL

  • Dan Huber

    Wonderful photos and gorgeous bird. Not on twitter much due to time constraints but finally have your blog in my google reader so I don’t miss your great photography. Cheers, Happy holidays.


  • Thanks, Dan! I know well about the time crunch we get in!!! Hope your’s is a great one, also!

  • Pingback: In Search of a Lunker | Show Me Nature Photography()

  • Wow, Jim. What a great find & lovely photos. Can’t wait to see more.

  • Thanks, Melissa, just posted another set of images of this little guy fishing!