Last Friday I was informed of a very special bird that showed up on a small farm pond near Indiana, PA….a Glossy Ibis!! I’ve seen these birds in Florida and a few spots in Delaware and Virginia but never in PA. I was keeping my fingers crossed it would stick around since I was off work for the weekend and could take a ride over to look for him. Saturday afternoon I arrived at the farm pond and to my good fortune he was still there! I first spotted him just down the grassy embankment next to the water.
I wasn’t sure just how skittish he would be so I approached very slowly and cautiously. I quickly could tell he didn’t seem to concerned with my presence but I still kept a respectable distance. All of a sudden without warning he took off, and I thought, oh no he’s leaving!
As it turned out he was just in the mood to fly a little, did a couple laps around the pond and then came flying back in.
Then for the next hour or so, my friend and I watched as he foraged around the pond, sweeping his bill in the water, eating what he could find. Occasionally he came extremely close to us, probably within 10 yards a few times, which afforded us with some nice close ups!
When the light hit him just right, his iridescent colors absolutely shined. With a maroon colored neck and upper body and green and purple iridescence in the wings, he was truly a beautiful sight to see.
They are a very rare bird for Western PA as they are mostly found along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast states. I later found out, this day was the last day he was seen there….I was so fortunate to have had this opportunity to see and photography this magnificent bird. This was definitely one of my highlight birds thus far for 2016!