Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus, 1766) IB GLOIB 1360
Family: Pelecaniformes > Threskiornithidae

Glossy Ibis, Philip Croft

This rather smart bird, with its glossy green and purple-brown plumage, is not much bigger than a Curlew, something that surprises many encountering the species for the first time.

The Glossy Ibis has become more familiar to birdwatchers following a series of mass arrivals in the 2000s. Increasing numbers of reports since then mirror an increase in the breeding population located in the south-west of Europe. There have been a number of breeding attempts here, and it is likely that more regular breeding will be a feature in the future.

Climate change is thought to have supported the growth in visiting Glossy Ibis to Britain, with milder winters aiding their survival and enabling individuals to attempt breeding attempts the following year.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Glossy Ibis


Glossy Ibis identification is usually straightforward.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Glossy Ibis, provided by xeno-canto contributors.

Flight call

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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



These maps show the distribution at the start of an invasion, a phenomenon that has continued, with individuals and small flocks of Glossy Ibises seemingly resident at several locations in southern Britain. Breeding seems likely in the coming years.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2



Glossy Ibis was formerly a rare vagrant, but is now a scarce resident and potential breeder at many southern locations.

Weekly occurence of Glossy Ibis from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Glossy Ibis ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Glossy Ibis, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Ibis Du
Catalan: capó reial
Czech: ibis hnedý
Danish: Sort Ibis
Dutch: Zwarte Ibis
Estonian: tõmmuiibis e. läikiibis
Finnish: pronssi-iibis
French: Ibis falcinelle
German: Sichler
Hungarian: batla
Icelandic: Bognefur
Irish: Íbis Niamhrach
Italian: Mignattaio
Latvian: brunais ibiss
Lithuanian: rudasis ibis
Norwegian: Bronseibis
Polish: ibis kasztanowaty
Portuguese: íbis-preto
Slovak: ibisovec hnedý
Slovenian: plevica
Spanish: Morito común
Swedish: bronsibis

Links to more information from

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