Not a creature we see at Niles Pond everyday! The young Ibis stayed for awhile, resting, floofing its magnificent iridescent feathers, and drinking water before heading back out over the ocean. I used to see them only over on the west side of Gloucester, but this year there was a very large flock at pastures in Essex, and a beautiful flock foraging in the tidal marsh at Good Harbor Beach, too.

According to Cornell, “Glossy Ibises are found throughout the world. In North America, populations increased by an estimated 4.2% per year between 1966 and 2015 (indicating a cumulative increase of nearly eightfold over that period), according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. In 2002, the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimated 13,000–15,000 breeding Glossy Ibises in North America and listed it as a species of low concern.”

The Glossy Ibis breeding territory is indicated in orange and the coast of Massachusetts is part of that territory.

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