GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)

From the archives

Late 2012

I’m not sure I’ve shared images of the Glossy Ibis before, but here they are.    They were made in the Great Aviary at Melbourne Zoo.   I’ve seen Australian White Ibises in Nature Reserves or National Parks, but not these Glossy Ibises.   But they’re out there.  Depending on whether its shady or full sun on the day of the zoo visit, makes a great difference to the colour of these lovely iridescent-feathered birds.

Sometimes they look to be more blue/green/grey and other times more a rich russet brown, although I’ve just been reading that the juveniles are more brown so that could account for some of the colour difference.  I suspect I had my camera on AUTO ISO some days and CLOUDY ISO on other days which might account for the mix of cool or warm tones in the images in this post.

Ibises are found over most of Australia, particularly the northern states and eastern seaboard.

In flight they look very dark in colour and carry their heads and neck outstretched.  The image above was the best I could get of one in the air.

This Ibis (below) looks like it just caught a meal from the surrounding landscape.

Most of these images were made from the 10-20 foot high boardwalk that runs through the Great Aviary.

Here are a few photos of The Great Aviary to give overseas folk a sense of how large this enclosure is at Melbourne’s main Zoo in North Melbourne.  It is designed and landscaped to cover 3 climatic zones.

If and when, Australia ever opens it’s international borders to tourists and you’re visiting Melbourne, do make the effort to visit our main zoo (there are 3).  The landscaping, animal, bird and reptile exhibits are worth a day trip to see them all, but after many visits, I often chose the Great Aviary a lovely place to practice some bird photography for the whole afternoon.

I did get caught out on one afternoon visit in that the Aviary was closed for maintenance, but then that can occur with other parts of the zoo also.

It’s usually open 365 days per year, but in our current 6-week lockdown in Melbourne, it’s closed at the moment.

The first time I can remember it not being open.