Glossy/White-faced Ibis Hybrid
Common to Colorado are the White-faced Ibis. They are beautiful birds, long slender necks, burgundy feathers with green wings and a patchwork of faintly colored feathers on their backs. These birds are fairly elusive here in Colorado, and they have been a target of mine for a couple years now. I've seen flocks flying overhead, usually at sunset, and only been able to get remote silhouette shots.
A couple days ago, at the Cottonwood Creek wetland, a good-sized flock of Ibis were hanging out, bathing and preening in the calmer backwaters of the wetland ponds. After some time carefully getting into position, I finally managed to get some nice shots of these beautiful waders. Once they were finally framed in my lens, I realized that at least one, if not a few, looked like Glossy Ibis. A VERY similar bird, the Glossy Ibis is endemic to the Everglades of Florida, and very rarely ventures anywhere else. The key difference is the very thin white border around the Glossies face, where as the White-faced has a much larger border that blends into their burgundy and green head and neck feathers. However the face on the Ibis in front of me was a thin and mottled white line...somewhat different from a Glossy.
The White-faced and Glossy Ibis have only a very small region of the Gulf Coast where they cohabitate a couple times a year. In my research to identify the bird I've captured here, the only photos that looked identical were labeled "White-faced/Glossy Ibis Hybrid". I'm honestly unsure how common a hybrid cross between White-faced and Glossy Ibis is, however given the small overlap in their ranges, I suspect it can't be that much more common in Colorado than the Glossy itself.
White-faced and Glossy
Cottonwood Creek Wetland
Cherry Creek, Colorado
Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo GT3532LS + Jobu Pro 2
Those are beautiful shots Jrista!
Looking at a lot of the posts on this site, I really envy you who can go out and shoot bigger and more exotic birds. With the exception of a few water birds, I only get the tiny traditional ones ...
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Zeiss 35/1.4, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, Zeiss Otus 85/1.4, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II