Plegadis chihi


The only ibis to reside in the West. It has a diverse diet, consisting of insects, salamanders, crustaceans, and small fish and shellfish.


General: Long, downward curved gray bill. Extends its neck during flight. Difficult to distinguish between this and Glossy Ibis during non-breeding. During breeding, the white border on the facial patch and the red eye separate this bird from the Glossy Ibis. Sexes similar. 22-25 inches in length.

Adult Alternate: Head, neck, back and belly are a chestnut-bronze or iridescent purple-red color. Iridescent green wings and tail. Reddish bare facial skin surrounded by a thin white edge of feathers. Red eye and legs.

Adult Basic: Head, neck, back, and belly are a duller gray-brown color. Bare face patch is grayish and lacks white border. The head and neck are streaked with white. Gray-green legs.

Immature: Similar to adult basic, except its eye may not be red.


Salt and freshwater marshes. Flooded fields.


3-4 pale blue-green eggs. The eggs have a 21-22 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 28+ days. The nest is a deep cup made from dead reeds and is lined with grass. The nest is located in a marsh and may be built among beds of bulrushes, on floating mats of dead plants or in trees. Nests in colonies.

Observed Locations:

  • Kit Carson Park, Escondido
  • Wild Animal Park, Escondido

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