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Scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber)

Scarlet ibis
Scarlet ibisScarlet ibisScarlet ibis

Personal Information
The Zoo has two scarlet ibis, brothers hatched in 2001. They came to the Zoo in 2004. These two ibis live in the Aviary and can be seen in the shallows or in the trees. The scarlet ibis is one of the most striking of the ibis species because of their deep pink coloration. They get this coloring from the rich pigments in their diet, which consists of algae and crustaceans.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. The population of scarlet ibis is estimated to be 100,000 to 150,000 in the wild, and the species is considered to be lower risk.

Habitat
The range of the scarlet ibis species is an 820,000-square-kilometer-area of tropical South and Central America, the West Indies and coastal areas of the Southeastern United States.

Diet
The scarlet ibis eats insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish and worms.

  • The scarlet ibis breeds in large colonies and migrates in flocks.
  • A scarlet ibis’ plumage will fade if it is deprived of its natural diet, but fed shrimp or natural pigment, its color will be restored.
  • The call of a scarlet ibis is harsh and high-pitched, but rarely heard.
  • Nest building and incubation of eggs is a duty shared by both male and female ibis.
  • Young scarlet ibis are able to swim before they can fly.