White-faced/Glossy Ibis (Plegadis sp.) at Oregon Inlet, Dare Co., NC

This hatch year (first fall) Plegadis ibis was photographed at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on Nov. 7-9, 2008.

Initially called a Glossy Ibis, on closer inspection the possibility of a White-faced was raised because of the hints of cinnamon or red in the brown iris. Juvenile Glossy and White-faced ibises are nearly identical, both with brown irises. As White-faced Ibises mature, the iris becomes redder, becoming reddish by the second year and eventually ruby-red.

See some photos and more info at Birding Hawaii.

Detail of the photo above, showing a hint of reddish color on the iris.

Another thing to look for from Peter Pyle's comments from the above link: "Some Glossy Ibis at this age can show slate-colored loral skin and two indistinct pale stripes within the skin, whereas White-faced Ibis show dull brown skin without pale stripes [...] through the first year."

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.