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White Ibis's Tricky Nesting Schedule

These birds are flexible and adaptable

For many birds, breeding and nesting are tied closely to spring. But for a bird like the White Ibis — one of the most abundant wading birds in the Southeast — the timing of nesting has to do with water. White Ibises forage in shallow pools of fresh water, especially for crayfish and small crabs. They’ll raise their young only when these pools — and the food they contain — are plentiful. So they follow a flexible nesting schedule. Depending on the rains, in some areas they nest in late winter, in others not until late spring or summer.   

Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The White Ibis’s Tricky Nesting Schedule

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[White Ibis calls, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/134190, 0.06-.11]
The White Ibis is one of the Southeast’s most abundant wading birds. For many birds in the temperate zone, breeding and nesting are tied closely to the spring season – when there is more warmth, more light, and more food. But for a bird like the White Ibis, the key factor in nesting has to do with water.
    [http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/135408, 1.00-1.06]
    White Ibises stand about two feet tall, and adults are snow white with black wingtips. The long, down-curved bill is an eye-catching red-orange, as are the long legs and bare face. They forage in shallow pools of fresh water, especially for crayfish and small crabs. They’ll start to raise their young only when these pools – and the food they contain – are plentiful. And it must be fresh water: crustaceans captured in brackish water have too high a salt content for the chicks.
    In some areas, heavy spring rains create ideal shallow pools. In other areas that stay wet year ‘round, the same rains may flood wetlands and make feeding difficult.
White Ibises have adapted. They follow a flexible nesting schedule. Depending on the rains, in some areas they nest in late winter, in others not until late spring or summer.   
    Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.
    For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
                                                                               ###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. White Ibis recorded by Michael J Andersen and Martha J Fischer, [134190] and [135408] 
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org   August 2016   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#    WHIB-01-2016-08-19            WHIB-01








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