Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. White ibises nest in colonies with other white ibises and often several kinds of herons and egrets. Nesting colonies often develop where the birds have been roosting at night. White ibis nests are typically in trees but lower than nests of herons. Sometimes ibises even nest on the ground. While herons and egrets build a flimsy platform nest, that of the white ibis is slightly more substantial, including a shallow depression and often leafy twigs. Normally an ibis female will have three cream to bluish eggs that are splotched with brown. These hatch in about three weeks and nestlings leave the nest quickly, standing along branches as they wait for parents to return with food. Young leave the colony about 40 days after hatching. Earlier in their nesting activities, the male ibis guards the nest during the day, and the female guards it at night. The nest is guarded not only against predators, but also against neighbors that might borrow a few twigs for their own nest. Young white ibises from the previous year sometimes help out at an ibis colony, going from nest to nest to shade and even preen younger nestlings. They're not known to feed the youngsters, but probably gain important experience from their efforts.'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.