Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The glossy ibis is a two foot tall wading bird that often appears nearly black, but when viewed close it's a beautiful metallic bronze in color. During the breeding season, the bare skin of its face becomes blue-black and is bordered by a thin line of white or light-blue. Markings that are beautiful but rarely seen unless you're watching an ibis close at hand. While a glossy ibis is less conspicuous than our more common white ibis in Florida, it is the most widespread ibis in the world and it is found literally around the world in the tropics and sub-tropics. As with other ibises, the glossy ibis has long legs and a distinctive long thin bill that curves downward. It's a social bird that is somewhat nomadic, wandering in small groups in search of good feeding areas. Glossy ibises find food in a diversity of wetland habitats where they probe in soft mud to find worms, small insects, snails, and clams. In South Florida, they're often seen in agricultural areas where piles of decaying vegetables are sometimes dumped. There, they feed on both the soft pulp of the vegetables and on the insects attracted to it.'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.