Among the wading birds you are most likely to see often in south Florida is the White Ibis. They seem to be everywhere – which is both a new thing and an old thing. It is an old thing, because White Ibis are and always have been the most abundant wading bird in the Everglades. If any bird were to be emblematic of the magnitude of wildlife that once found homes in the Everglades and nearby southern Florida it would be this one… The new part is that in recent decades the White Ibis has become more and more of a suburban, even an urban bird. Where to go to see them? Almost anywhere – the Florida Keys, Homestead, Redlands, Naples, road margins, artificial ponds, downtown Miami, and, yes, at the University of Miami campus (where the mascot came long before the real birds). A good example of the current situation is at Key Biscayne where over a thousand nest annually on a small island at Crandon Park while feeding all over nearby the yards and parks and even flying to and past Miami to feeding sites. You can watch the evening flight lines of ibis from urban Miami along the Causeway out to the Key. The White Ibis is now an urban bird – a testimony to its adaptiveness.
© 2014 Melanie Dawn. All rights reserved.
White Ibis at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami