Another "What was this bird?" Thread

I could look it up somewhere, but this is more fun.
I was in Reno and saw a smallish, all-black crane with a downward-curving orange beak.
What did I see?

Double crested cormorant, which ranges all over North America?

http://www.diabloaudubon.com/birds/Pete%20Warden/Cormorant.jpg

The actual ornithologists will probably be along shortly.

By “crane” you mean a longish-legged wading bird, yes?

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/glossyibis.htm

Sounds sort of like a glossy ibis, but according to my book (National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds, 3rd ed., 1999) Reno is not their usual place to hang out. “Glossy Ibises inhabit freshwater and saltwater marshes… Rare inland wanderer, chiefly in spring; casual west to Colorado.”

In Reno, it would be the very closely related White-faced Ibis, which replaces the Glossy in the western US.

It could have been a white-faced ibis. They breed in the Western US, including Nevada.

I simulposted Colibri! Yay me! :smiley:

The pictures and the size match, except the bill looked much more orange. There is some water near where I saw it.
By “crane” I mean I saw it flying, and it held its neck out straight (not like a heron).

It was probably a white-faced ibis which had just finished a bag of Cheetos (hence the orange bill). :stuck_out_tongue:

The bill of the White-faced Ibis is more-or-less grayish, but can look a bit pinkish. I suppose it might look orangish in certain lights, especially near sunset. Another possibility is that it was coated with orangish mud.

Ibises fly with their necks extended, unlike herons.

White-faced Ibis is really about the only all-dark wading bird with a curved bill that would be in Nevada. A less likely possibility is Long-billed Curlew, but that wouldn’t look blackish and isn’t that cranelike.