Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ibis - A Symbol for Danger and Optimism

White Ibis

The white ibis is a wading bird that is very common throughout Florida. Their traditional habitat has always been the Everglades but they've recently adapted to a more urban environment. During our visit there this past summer, we frequently saw ibises on freshly mowed lawns rooting for large bugs as well as stalking aquatic prey along the shoreline of ponds, lakes and marshes.

These splendid, white birds have evolved a long, downward-curved bill. This distinctive feature has helped them develop into efficient hunters. Their legs are long enough to wade in shallow water but they are also perfectly at home on dry land where they can use their pink beak to probe for insects.

The white ibis is a symbol for danger and optimism because Native American folklore held that the bird was the last to seek shelter before a hurricane and the first to emerge afterwards.

12 comments:

  1. i don't think i ever really saw a pic of one of these pretty birds and very interesting about the danger part!

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    1. That picture is the first one I had ever seen but not the last, they are all over down there in Florida.

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  2. Beautiful bird. Don't think I've ever seen one. They look a litte like storks!

    Beautiful pitures on your blog!

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    1. Thanks, I had never seen one before either. Very unique looking little birds.

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  3. Florida has some great birds! The Native American folklore tidbit is interesting. I was wondering what you were going to do for I. Maybe iris (if you are including plants)... The other thing I realized you could do is use the Latin name for the A to Z Challenge.

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    1. Those are great ideas. Believe me, I'm going to have to be creative to get through some of these letters. Also, some of the photos for upcoming posts aren't the best but they meet alphabetical needs. What did you get me into? : )

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  4. Beautiful close up photo! Speaking of pretty white birds, here in Texas, I've been seeing a lot of cattle egrets lately. I even saw one standing on the back of a cow the other day.I missed that shot, though, alas. I'm sure you know that feeling of the, "one that got away," from time to time, too.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! :)

    ~Tui
    twitter: @mentalmosaic
    visiting from the atozchallenge

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    1. We have the Great Blue Herons here but I'd never really seen the White Herons, egrets and ibises until we went to Florida. The birds and landscape down there all seemed so exotic.

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  5. Thanks Dan for this.

    I love the symbolism of the Ibis - danger and optimism.

    We have Ibis (sacred Ibis) here in South Africa - hey have a screech and yowl like you can't believe. THey are a greyish colour ..

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    1. I had never seen them before and didn't know much about them so I thought the folklore about hurricanes was interesting. I will be featuring some animals from Africa you might recognize in future posts. I'll keep checking in to see how it's going.

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  6. What a beautiful bird.

    We have ibis here in Australia too, but they're ugly, with grey beaks and their feathers are always dirty. They also steal food. Anything that's not pinned down. Even food still cooking on the barbeque, or out of a toddler's hand!

    Rinelle Grey

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    1. The ibises we saw in Florida were pretty docile sounds like yours are kind of obnoxious. My "L" post is going to feature a bird from Australia that you might recognize.

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