Wednesday, July 1, 2009


               White-Faced Ibis 
(click on picture to view in larger format)

On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I traveled an hour outside of Calgary to a bird conservatory named Frank Lake. It is a large slough really, in the middle of farmland and prairie, which is home to so many beautiful species of birds that I could hardly believe it! Of course, it was the wrong time of day and weather for really good pictures - mid-afternoon and bright sunlight - but the wind was blowing which meant no mosquito bites, and it was warm, which meant taking pictures in comfort, so I am NOT complaining!

I had never seen this bird before - and when I shot this picture, he was in the air and far away - just a black outline really. But when I got home, and uploaded the pictures onto my computer, I saw all the beautiful iridescence of his wings and was AMAZED!!!

In my bird book, it tells me that the name of the bird comes from a "naked facial patch" which is white - you can see it around the eye area, extending to the beak. It has red eyes, and lays 3 or 4 bluish-green eggs. This bird is "very rare" in Alberta from May to September, so I feel like I have made a "catch" in capturing this one on camera! What an odd shaped bill it has - perfect for gleaning the aquatic invertebrates it eats - but odd looking! It is anywhere from 48 - 66 cms. long, and its wing span is 91 cms.!!!

Be sure to click on the picture to view it larger - and enjoy this wonderful creature as we did on Sunday.

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian visitors!


emm said...

Gorgeous! I love the iridescence in the wings also. I'm so glad you got the shot!

Anonymous said...

Awesome shot! Hope you had a nice holiday celebration.


Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Cool picture, what a neat surprise!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful bird! It looks like something that doesn't belong in Alberta. I've never seen it before. I love his beak.

Joanne said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. This bird is indeed unusual - and It was great fun to happen upon him... then to get this shot was such a bonus! Hope to post more pictures of birds we saw that day later this month.