Andy's excellent photographs and discussion of the identification can be found on his web page: http://home.earthlink.net/~andyguthrie/wfibis.htm
I include four of my own below.
Bird #2: Flushed with success, we moved to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge which also hosts large numbers of ibis and other herons. Venturing onto the East Pond in mid-afternoon, we spotted a large group of ibis on the far bank at the south end. A quick scan through the birds revealed a second White-faced Ibis, picked out by the red iris and facial skin. Unfortunately the flock took flight a few minutes after our arrival and the birds scattered in several directions. Two rather distant photos are posted below.
It is unclear whether these birds are subadults or non-breeding adults undergoing pre-basic molt? Certainly we find a small number of Glossy Ibis that have adult body coloration but lack the white pigmented skin around the face. Are these non-breeders or subadults?
This is a review species in New York State and
observers are kindly requested to send descriptions and photos to the New
York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC).
First recognized as it dropped from the air by the gleaming red eye set on a pink face. Notice the creamy-brown streaks on the head and upper neck, perhaps indicative of basic-plumage? The legs appeared pinker than any of the ten or so Glossy Ibis present at the same time. The bird appeared noticeably smaller than the Glossy Ibis. This is mentioned by Kaufman (1990). The appreciable difference in size leads me to think that the Cow Meadow bird is a female, which are generally smaller than males. Oddly, David Sibley's guide cites identical measurements for the two species (L 23", WS 36") but in the text describes White-faced Ibis as "averages slightly larger" than Glossy Ibis! He quotes a heavier average mass for White-faced Ibis (610 g vs 550 g). Not sure who is correct on this, but Kenn Kaufman's assertion fits with our experience.
The bird was rather distant 60-80 yards and I only managed a handful of shots before the whole group took flight and disappeared. Two of the sharpest images are reproduced below. The bird was clearly identifiable by the red eye and pink facial skin. Through the scope we could see a remnant of the white feather border to the face, and this seemed bolder (more obvious) than on the Cow Meadow bird. The legs were pinkish, strongest around the intertarsal joint 'knees'.
More ibis photographs
I have posted some recent photos to help those interested in the identification and aging of Glossy Ibis. There are separate pages for adults, juveniles and oddities (Added 10 July 2002).