The Ibis Patrol

Those of us who have homes in the Temperate latitudes of North America are familiar with flocks of robins, starlings or grackles that patrol our lawns, searching for insects, worms and grubs.  Down here in Florida, white ibis also perform that duty.

Roaming about in sizable flocks, these attractive birds feed in a variety of habitats, including fresh and saltwater wetlands, tidal mudflats, sloughs and fields, searching for crustaceans, marine worms, frogs, fish, small snakes and a host of aquatic invertebrates.  White ibis also patrol lawns, often marching side by side while probing the grass for insects and slugs; one such group, composed of four adults and two juveniles, has been feeding along our condo complex in recent days.

Highly social, white ibis nest and roost in large colonies, often in the company of egrets and herons.  They breed along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast, from North Carolina to Mexico and are permanent residents throughout Florida.  Indeed, there are few birds so closely associated with the Deep South than these curve-billed waders.