AppearanceThis species is 55–65 centimetres long with an 88–105 centimetres wingspan. Breeding adults have reddish-brown bodies and shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller bodies. This species has a brownish bill, dark facial skin bordered above and below in blue-gray to cobalt blue , and red-brown legs. Unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched, their flight being graceful and often in V-formation.
DistributionThis is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Americas. It is thought to have originated in the Old World and spread naturally from Africa to northern South America in the 19th century. This species is migratory; most European birds winter in Africa, and in North America birds from north of the Carolinas winter farther south. Birds from other populations may disperse widely outside the breeding season. While generally declining in Europe it has recently established a breeding colony in Southern Spain, and there appears to be a growing trend for the Spanish birds to winter in Britiain and Ireland.
BehaviorSounds made by this rather quiet ibis include a variety of croaks and grunts, including a hoarse ''grrrr'' made when breeding.
CulturalThe Glossy Ibis is one of the species to which the ''Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds'' applies.
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