STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
RANGE: Northern South America
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
The scarlet ibis is, in fact, scarlet in color. However, they are brownish-white when they are born; their deep crimson color develops later in life. They have a long downward-curving bill that is typically thin in nature. Ibis have long legs compared to their body size and broad wings with black primary feathers. They also have partially webbed feet. The males and the females look the same as each other, with the males typically being a little larger in size.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Scarlet ibis live in large breeding colonies that range in the thousands. The large population allows them to watch for predators and provide safety for young chicks. Ibis live an average of fifteen years in the wild. Although they spend most of their time in aquatic areas, they often perch in trees. Their long separated toes allow them to walk easily through the mud while they use their long beaks to probe for food in the muddy waters.
Males use preening and flight displays to attract females. Females will lay one to three eggs for an average incubation period of 23 days. Both the male and female will guard the nest from predators. Predators of the ibis include cats, monkeys, turtles, caiman, snakes and raptors.
They are usually found along the northern coast of South America. They can be found in Trinidad and Tobago.
Scarlet ibis usually dwell in coastal areas of tropical rain forests, mud flats, shallow bays, and wetlands.
Scarlet ibis’ carnivorous diet typically consists of fish, frogs, reptiles, insects, and crustaceans. Occasionally, they may eat some fruit.