I've been wanting to do a painting of this gorgeous bird for quite a while. Normally, they look like a relatively average bird with a rusty dark color. However, if you happen to catch it when the light hits it just right, it is magical. It is iridescent and multi-colored. This is especially true during breeding season. If it turns just a teeny tiny bit, it loses it's bright coloration and looks rather drab again. I found myself constantly hoping to catch them in exactly the right position and light. It is one of those marvelous sights that I couldn't forget. This one is scratching his head with his long claws.
Breeding adults have iridescent bronze bodies and shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders have duller bodies. This species has a long down-curved grayish bill, dark facial skin bordered above and below in blue-gray to cobalt blue, and reddish-brown legs. This medium sized bird has a thin band of white feathers around bare dark face. Their eyes are dark and their legs are yellow-gray. Unlike herons, ibises fly with their necks outstretched. Their flight is graceful and often in a V formation.
Sounds made by this rather quiet ibis include a variety of croaks and grunts, including a hoarse grrr made when breeding.
Although the Glossy Ibis of North America lives primarily along the Atlantic Coast, it also can be found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The glossy ibis is relatively new to North America. It came here from Africa. It probably flew across the Atlantic to South America and then slowly expanded its range to North America.
They live usually in marshes and wetlands. The glossy ibis probes in the mud and silt with its bill looking for prey like the fiddler crab, crawfish, insects and small snakes.
A group of ibises has many collective nouns, including a "congregation", "stand", and "wedge" of ibises.
I painted this on museum quality archival sealed masonite gesso board with acrylic paints. It is cradled at 3/4Ē to protect it from warping.
March 7th, 2015
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