Figure 1. Glossy Ibis is on the left. White-faced Ibis is on the right. All photographs by the author.
When Richard Veit and Wayne Petersen’s Birds of Massachusetts was published in 1993, the state had a paltry three or four records of White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi), all in breeding plumage, seen between April and July in Essex County. Although the species currently remains on the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC) review list, it is almost annual now, with sightings in spring, summer, and fall at a variety of locations in the eastern half of Massachusetts. Birders should be looking for them; any flock of more common Glossy Ibises (Plegadis falcinellus) deserves scrutiny, especially in the fall when both species sport their nonbreeding plumage. This is what to look for.
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