[CT Birds] Possible hybrid White-faced x Glossy Ibis also with flock at Silver Sands

Mark Szantyr birddog55 at charter.net
Sun Aug 9 22:07:31 EDT 2009

I just got back from a small sojourn in Maine and feel like a summary of the 
Ibis situation is in order.  Granted, this is my take on the situation, but 
I have received feedback from several west coast birders about the birds and 
this is where I am at.

There are two birds there with red eyes.  One has pink facial skin, a bright 
red eye, virtually no white around the facial skin, is a paler rusty color 
than the Glossy Ibis's that are present, and shows less contrast between the 
rusty coloration and the darker flight feathers.  The tertials and coverts 
tend to show a reddish vilet irridescence compared to the dull greenish to 
no irridescence of the Glossies.  These characters lead me to believe this 
is a second year White-faced Ibis and not a fading adult, though I guess 
that is not completely ruled out.

Bird two as shown in the photos by Fran Zygmont shows a bird with a grey 
face, a duller red eye, whitish around the facial skin in a pattern most 
like a Glossy but with some variation that make the outline look like the 
pattern shown by some young White-faced.  Also, the white appears to have a 
pinkish cast to it, another WF feature.

The rusty color is like Glossy as is the amount of contrast between the 
flight feathers and the rusty color.  The tertials and coverts show some 
reddish violet irridescence and some greenish.  My best gues ( which is 
supported by feedback from west coast guys) is that this is a hybrid Glossy 
X White-faced...likely an adult.

While I feel that bird one is likely a WF Ibis, the presence of a likely 
hybrid suggests that we should study the first bird more closely for hybrid 

Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278
Birddog55 at charter.net 

More information about the CTBirds mailing list