Breeding ecology of White-faced Ibis (Pleagadis chihi) in the upper Klamath Basin, California

M. R. Taft, D. M. Mauser, T. W. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) is a California state and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service species of special management concern. We studied White-faced Ibis breeding ecology from May through July 1995 on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in the upper Klamath Basin of California. A total of 2029 pairs nested in 3 colonies exclusively in early-successional hardstem bulrush (Scirpus acutus). Nest initiation dates ranged from 10 May to 12 June, and mean clutch size was 3.16. Reproductive success averaged 87% apparent nest success (n = 115), 82% hatchability, 97% whole and partial brood survival, and 2.39 fledglings per successful nest. Mayfield estimates of nest survival were 79.1% during the laying and incubation period and 95% during the nestling period. Overall nest success as estimated by the Mayfield method was 75.4%. Our estimates of nest success are some of the highest reported anywhere in the literature for White-faced Ibis. Therefore, Lower Klamath NWR may maintain preferred White-faced Ibis breeding habitats in years of otherwise poor habitat conditions across the Intermountain West.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalWestern North American Naturalist
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Breeding ecology
  • California
  • Klamath Basin
  • Nest success
  • Plegadis chihi
  • Wetlands
  • White-faced Ibis


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