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.