Photo: The spectacular rainbow plumage of white-faced ibises

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As if those slender curved beaks and elegant form weren't beautiful enough, these ibises top it all off with a flurry of festive feathers.

Photographer Don Quintana tells us that he was several trips into the photo tours he gives at the Merced National Wildlife refuge with only a few scattered viewings of the white-faced Ibis. He writes:

“Where the heck could they all be?” I wondered. I had certainly seen flocks of them flying about in route to the refuge but when I arrived, it was slim pickings. This last tour, we stopped by the San Luis Refuge and lo and behold, they were all hanging out at the Souza Marsh area! We hung out waiting for the possibility of a flight shot but they weren’t having any of that. It wasn’t until we sat back into the vehicle that they decided to take flight. We captured a couple of images and hopefully satisfied our need for white-faced Ibis in flight photos.

Um ... yes! That blurry bokeh background makes for a perfect mother-of-pearl landscape in which the iridescent ibises so gracefully glide through. Great subjects, beautifully shot!

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