While photographing at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma yesterday, I was excited to come across three juvenile White Ibis near the Sally Jones Causeway. These long-legged wading birds are a common sight in Florida and elsewhere in the southeastern United States, but are not usually found at this refuge in Oklahoma.
I did not initially recognize these birds as juvenile White Ibis. They had the typical long, downward-curving bill of an ibis, but their feathers had some brown rather than the all white plumage of adult birds. After sending a photo to a fellow birding friend, she confirmed they were indeed young White Ibis.
Juvenile White Ibis have brown feathers and a pink bill that gradually turns white as they mature. They are highly social birds, often found feeding together in wetlands along with egrets, herons, and other wading birds.
I was photographing from the roadside when I spotted the juvenile Ibis in shallow water near the edge of the auto tour route. By parking my truck and slowly approaching the birds on foot, I was able to capture some nice close-up shots of them feeding. The afternoon light was perfect for bringing out the colors and textures of their distinctive bills and feathers.
Spotting these young White Ibis so far from their typical Florida habitat was a special treat. I’m thrilled to have captured images of them in their juvenile plumage before they acquire the iconic white feathers of adulthood. Sharing exciting finds like this makes all the efforts involved in wildlife photography worthwhile.
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Lens: Canon RF 800
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: August 15, 2021 (08:51 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f11
- Shutter speed: 1/800
- ISO: 8000 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Focal Length: 800 mm