Rare ibis photographed at Cobram

By Country News

Rare glossy ibis have been photographed near Cobram.

Farmer John Lazzarotto took some pictures of the rare ibis species, with some inquisitive straw-necked ibis looking on, at his farm on the Murray Valley Hwy, east of Cobram.

‘‘I’m a bird lover and I’m 76 years of age and have been here all my life but I have never seen them before,” he said.

“But I do know someone who saw a couple in the area years ago.

‘‘They turned up when I was irrigating and there were eight of them.

“They are pretty shy and the other (straw-necked ibis) bossed them round a bit.”

The glossy ibis is a small dark ibis that looks black from a distance.

At close quarters the neck is reddish-brown and the body is a bronze-brown with a metallic iridescent sheen on the wings.

The distinctive long, curved bill is olive-brown, the facial skin is blue-grey with a bordering white line that extends around the eyes.

The eyes, legs and feet are brown.

There are no similar species to the glossy ibis.

Both the straw-necked ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) and the Australian white ibis (T. Molucca) are larger and have variable areas of white on their body and wings.

The glossy ibis frequents swamps and lakes throughout much of the Australian mainland, but is most numerous in tropical northern Australia.

It is also a non-breeding visitor to Tasmania and the south-west of Western Australia.