White Ibises are extremely common here in central Florida. We see them in parking lots and in our neighborhood, foraging in suburban front yards, almost as often as we see them in more natural areas.
While I see these white birds quite often, I hadn’t really noticed one preening before I stopped to watch a particular bird in a small flock along the World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot last week. I must have seen them preening before, I just never stopped to pay attention until that moment.
According to the Birds of North America Online, White Ibises “spend much of the day preening, […] usually at day roosts. […] Back preened directly by turning head, lower belly by placing head between legs.” BNA goes on to explain in detail how they preen other body parts (what a resource!), but I only was able to witness this bird getting busy with its backside. 🙂
Watching birds do what they do is always interesting, and I was especially interested watching this individual taking care of feather maintenance with its unusual bill. The back didn’t seem too tough a spot to preen. I would love to see that belly move though – it sounds like quite a move!