White Ibis project update

Richard and Claire joined Sonia Hernandez and Team Ibis for the first on-site project meeting of our NSF EEID-funded grant investigating the consequences of anthropogenic food resources for White Ibis health and exposure to pathogens such as Salmonella. As well as brainstorming ideas for the coming year, we got to see the field crew in action as they attempted to capture wild White Ibis foraging in Lion Country Safari. It took a while to lure them in, but eventually Maureen and Taylor were successful in catching 3 birds, much to the disdain of the local flamingo flock! One of these birds was fitted with a GPS backpack, which will give fine-scale data on its movement between foraging sites and (hopefully) where it spends the summer. By comparing the local and long-distance movements of urban-foraging birds with ibis captured at wetlands, we’ll be able to understand how seasonally and spatially predictable resources influence ibis movement behavior within and between seasons.