White-Faced Ibis

One of my goals in returning to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge this week was to get a better picture of a White-Faced Ibis, a bird I didn’t even know existed until I returned home from my first trip their this Spring and examines some long shots I’d taken of a flock of birds flying overhead.

I certainly met that goal this time, for it seemed like they were everywhere, though none of them had white faces, which they only have during breeding. Nor did any of them look quite as colorful as the ones I found in my birding book.

I really wasn’t terribly disappointed, though, because its really the shape of the bird

White-Faced Ibis in the Distance

not its colors that first drew my attention. It’s a good thing, too, because this shot is symbolic of most of the Ibis I saw.

As it turned out, the shot I took the first day in the ponds you cross before you make the turn to go to the tour captured the iridescent color of the Ibis

White-Faced Ibis

better than any picture I got on the rest of the trip, though I much prefer this pose,

White-Faced Ibis

and the definition of the feathers. Unfortunately the sun was shining from the back and the photo had to be lightened to bring out what little color there was.

The beautiful green in this shot of an Ibis flying away

White-Faced Ibis Flying Away

gives me reason to believe that I have plenty of reasons to return to get better shots, particularly in the Spring when they are in breeding colors.

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