Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The most common ibis in Florida is our white ibis, a striking white bird that stands about two feet tall and has a long, slender, down-curved pink to red bill. During spring, the white ibis’s bill, face, and legs are an especially brilliant reddish-pink. White ibises are social birds that often feed in flocks of six to twelve individuals that probe for insects on lawns or for other small animals on mudflats or in shallow water. They're useful birds in that they readily take sod webworms, but also take small crabs, crayfish, frogs, fish, and even small snakes. White ibises are resident in southwest Florida, but their numbers swell in winter as northern ibises join them to take advantage of our warm climate and abundance of wetland habitats. White ibises often join herons and egrets in large nesting colonies. Young white ibises are brown above and easily distinguished from their white parents. In the spring of their second year, young white ibis are often modeled as they grow their adult plumage.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.