White-faced Ibis – Kansas

The Great Bend area of central Kansas is a wonderful place to go to see an abundance of white-faced ibis on their northward migration.

 

Coming in to land

Coming in to land

 

On my visits during late-April to early-May (2013 and 2014), I saw plenty of these birds, and often at close ranges.

 

Ibis and avocets

Ibis and avocets

 

Many of these birds were foraging in the shallowly inundated stalks of last year’s crop of fire-weed (Kochia scoparia) while others were feeding on nearby mudflats.  Both groups seemed to be content with the habitat conditions.

 

White-faced ibis

White-faced ibis

 

On the occasions when a flock would flush, they generally would circle or drift with the wind and settle in for a landing within a distance of 200 to 300 yards or so.  In addition, other birds were crossing the marsh at flight altitudes of 20 to 50 yards.  One could almost wear out the optics of a pair of binoculars just by watching these birds.

 

Flock of white-faced ibis

Flock of white-faced ibis

 

 

Given the numbers of these birds that were present, it seems that the crayfish, tadpole, and minnow populations must have had a banner year to support so many ibis.

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