- Breeds in large colonies of 20- 600 nests.
- Honks to communicate with others.
- Will forage for food in many areas, even including human areas such as farm fields and golf courses.
- Is nomadic and will move between different locations of coast and wetlands.
Animals — Aves (birds) — Circoniiformes (stork relatives) — Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)
Scarlet ibises are a distinctive red ibis native to South America. They are brown as juveniles, but as they grow they develop red patches until they are entirely red, except for a couple of black wing tip feathers, and mature. They have reddish feet and bills, though some may have blackish bills.
They are social and are found in large flocks. Care of young and feeding is done communially. Members of the same flock will always stay close to each other, even when nesting. A pair will make their nest close to others nesting in the same tree. They are also comfortable flocking with other species such as spoonbills so they have added protection from predators.
They are classified as “least concern” but are still protected in many areas. Populations in some areas may also be declining. They are hunted, eggs are taken, and their young are stolen to be sold as pets. There is also habitat loss and pollution that affects their nesting and feeding areas.
Habitat: Prefers swamps and shallow bays, and will reproduce near mangroves by rivers.
–Average weight: 4.25kg
–Average length: 0.7m
In the wild up to: 16 years
In captivity up to: 20 years
Diet: They are carnivores and so eat meat. They hunt for crustaceans and invertebrates in the water.
Distribution: Found in northern South America, particularly near the coast.