Animal Factsheet content

Hadada ibis

Latin Name: 
Bostrychia hagedash
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

A large bird, the hadada ibis has brownish-gray plumage that displays an iridescent green sheen in sunlight.

Range: 

The hadada ibis can be found widely throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Habitat: 

The species occupies grasslands, savannas and wooded streams.

Status: 

Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Hadada Ibis Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The hadada ibis uses its large, curved bill to locate prey. The bird hunts by feel in murky streams and mud, grabbing any insects and small lizards it touches. The species gets its name from its distinctive call, a loud Ha-da-da.

Life History: 

Hadada ibis pairs prepare for breeding with mutual bows and displays. The male provides nesting materials, such as sticks and twigs, to the female, who locates her nest at the top of a tall tree or, in urban areas, a telephone pole. Both sexes participate in incubating and bringing food to young.

Swan goose

Latin Name: 
Anser cygnoides
Order: 
Anseriformes
Class: 
Birds

The swan goose is the largest goose species, reaching up to three feet in length. It displays a white throat and a dark brown crown extending along the back of the neck to the wings. The swan goose has a black bill and a chestnut-colored chest.

Range: 

The swan goose can be found throughout southeastern Russia, Mongolia, China North Korea and South Korea.

Habitat: 

The species lives on steppe wetlands, lakes and fast-flowing rivers.

Status: 

The swan goose is vulnerable because of hunting and habitat destruction. Much of the species' breeding grounds have been lost to agriculture. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Swan Goose Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The swan goose feeds primarily on plants, grazing on land for grasses and sedges.

Life History: 

Females lays 5-10 eggs, which are incubated for a month before hatching.

Exhibit: 

African spoonbill

Latin Name: 
Platalea alba
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

The African spoonbill has a white body with a red face and feet. The species' long, thin beak ends in a flat, extended bulge resembling a spoon.

Range: 

This wetland bird can be found throughout sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat: 

The African spoonbill inhabits wetland areas such as marshes, swamps and riverbanks as well as plains and savannas.

Status: 

Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the African Spoonbill Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The African spoonbill feeds on fish, crustacean and insects that it locates in the water.

Life History: 

The spoonbill's nest, generally located in trees above water, is built from sticks and reeds and lined with leaves. During breeding season, the female lays three-five spotted eggs, and the male and female both take turns incubating them. African spoonbill chicks typically hatch after a month of incubation and are ready to leave the nest after another month of care.

Special Adaptations: 
  • The African spoonbill's unique beak is used to locate prey in water with low visibility. To hunt, the bird opens its bill in the water and sweeps it back and forth, snapping at any fish, crustaceans or insects it comes into contact with.
  • The African spoonbill's long legs and thin, pointed toes enable it to walk easily through varying depths of water.

Chilean flamingo

Latin Name: 
Phoenicopterus chilensis
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

With tall, thin legs and a long, flexible neck, the Chilean flamingo can reach up to 40 inches in height. Like all flamingos, it has striking pink plumage, including crimson highlights along the edges of the wings. What appears to be the bird's knee is actually its ankle—the joint bends backward rather than forward.

Range: 

Peru and Brazil south to Argentina

Habitat: 

Coastal mudflats, estuaries, lagoons and salt lakes. Chilean flamingos can occupy habitats ranging from sea level up to 14,000 feet in the Andes. Their ability to tolerate extreme conditions makes them well suited for Chicago's harsh winters.

Status: 

Not threatened. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Chilean Flamingo Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The Chilean flamingo's bill is equipped with comb-like structures that enable it to filter food—mainly algae and plankton—from the water.

Life History: 

Chilean flamingos live in large flocks in the wild and require crowded conditions to stimulate breeding. During breeding season, males and females display a variety of behaviors to attract mates, including head flagging—swiveling their heads from side-to-side in tandem—and wing salutes, where the wings are repeatedly opened and closed. Males and females cooperate in building a pillar-shaped mud nest, and both incubate the egg laid by the female. Upon birth, the chicks have gray plumage; they don't gain adult coloration for two-three years. Both male and female flamingos can produce a nutritious milk-like substance in their crop gland to feed their young.

Special Adaptations: 

The Chilean flamingo often stands on one leg, tucking the other beneath its body to preserve body heat.

Exhibit: 

Scarlet ibis

Latin Name: 
Eudocimus ruber
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

The scarlet ibis is named for its distinctive red plumage. Males and females of the species can be distinguished by size; the male is larger and has a longer bill.

Range: 

This wading bird can be found in Northern South America from Venezuela to Brazil.

Habitat: 

The scarlet ibis inhabits marshes, swamps, lakes and streams.

Status: 

Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Scarlet Ibis Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The scarlet ibis uses its large beak to locate prey in the water. Crayfish, crabs, insects, frogs and fish all make up parts of the bird's diet.

Life History: 

The scarlet ibis lives in large colonies that can include thousands of individual birds. This dense social structure helps the birds keep watch for predatory big cats and birds. Males of the species use elaborate preening, head rubbing and flight displays to attract females, and breeding pairs will even wrap their necks around one another to cement their courtship.

Special Adaptations: 

The scarlet ibis' long, thin toes enable it to step easily through the water.

Abdim's stork

Latin Name: 
Ciconia abdimii
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

The Abdim's stork is a long-limbed bird with black feathers accented by white portions under the wings. The skin on the face is red and blue. Among the smallest of the storks, these birds still stand nearly 3 feet tall. Females are slightly smaller than males.

Range: 

This species is distributed throughout eastern and southern Africa.

Habitat: 

Abdim's storks occupy open grasslands, usually near water. They will also occupy dry zones.

Status: 

They are common throughout their range. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Abdim's Stork Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

Abdim's storks congregate in large flocks of up to 10,000 birds. They eat locusts and caterpillars, in addition to small reptiles and amphibians, mice, crabs and eggs.

Life History: 

These storks migrate north to exploit the rains in spring. This annual arrival has earned Abdim's storks the nickname of "rain-bringers" in regions that depend on precipitation for their crops. Among some, superstition demands that these birds remain undisturbed. Females lay two to three eggs at a time.

Special Adaptations: 
  • This species' name credits Governor Bey El-Arnaut Abdim (1780–1827).
  • In some regions, Abdim's storks are known as "grasshopper birds," due to their taste for the critters.
  • Like other storks, these birds defecate on their legs, which helps them maintain body temperature via evaporative cooling.

European white stork

Latin Name: 
Ciconia ciconia
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

A large bird, the European white stork can reach up to 40 inches in height and has a wingspan of more than five feet. The white feathers covering the bird's body and head are offset by black feathers coating the wings. Long, thin legs enable the bird to wade easily through wetland habitats.

Range: 

Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia

Habitat: 

Wetlands, savannas, meadows and fields

Status: 

Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the European Stork Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The European white stork's long, pointed bill is well-adapted to spearing prey. The birds enjoy a diverse diet, feeding on insects, frogs, rodents, lizards, snakes and small birds.

Life History: 

The European white stork often lives and nests near humans, favoring tall trees, chimneys or rooftops for nesting sites. The species is monogamous, meaning breeding pairs mate for life. They return to the same nest site every year, with the male arriving a few days before the female to repair and enlarge the structure. Nests can reach up to seven feet across and are constructed from sticks, grass, paper and other found items.

Hamerkop

Latin Name: 
Scopus umbretta
Order: 
Ciconiiformes
Class: 
Birds

The hamerkop is named for its distinctive head, which combines a thick bill with a pointed wedge of feathers on the back of the head, making it resemble a hammer. The species can reach nearly two feet in length, and both genders display brown feathers.

Range: 

Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat: 

Wetland habitats, including the shores of lakes and rivers

Status: 

Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Hamerkop Stork Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

The hamerkop uses its sturdy bill to catch fish, frogs, rodents and other small animals.

Life History: 

The hamerkop is known for its large nest, made from sticks, which can reach up to eight feet in size. Built in the treetops of the savanna, the nest is re-used every year, becoming larger as the hamerkop makes annual additions.

Parma wallaby

Latin Name: 
Macropus parma
Order: 
Marsupialia
Class: 
Mammals

As marsupials, parma wallabies carry young in pouches until they are developed. Though related to the kangaroo and similar in appearance, parma wallabies are much smaller.

Range: 

Eastern coast of Australia

Habitat: 

Forests (commonly with high precipitation) with thick underbrush

Status: 

In 1965 a population of parma wallabies, thought to be extinct, was discovered in Australia. They are currently considered near threatened. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Parma Wallaby Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

Widely dispersed throughout their habitats, parma wallabies hide within bushes before emerging to feed in the evening.

Life History: 

There is little social organization—different ages and genders interact. Promiscuous by nature, the male will vocalize during breeding.

Special Adaptations: 
  • Also known as the white-throated wallaby do to their coloration.
  • Parma wallabies communicate with visual clues. For example, aggression is exhibited by tail wagging and foot stomping.

Brush-tailed bettong

Latin Name: 
Bettongia penicillata
Order: 
Marsupialia
Class: 
Mammals

Stretching a foot and a half long with a one-foot tail, the brush-tailed bettong can weigh up to three pounds. The upper parts of bettong's coat is grayish-brown; the underparts are lighter. The tip of the muzzle is naked and flesh colored. Females have a well-developed pouch.

Range: 

Southwestern Australia to central New South Wales

Habitat: 

Grasslands and wooded areas

Status: 

Endangered. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Brush-Tailed Bettong Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Niche: 

Nocturnal, terrestrial and herbivorous. Bettongs feed mainly on roots, tubers and legume pods, but there are reports of them feeding on carrion, meat and marine refuse.

Life History: 

The bettong constructs a nest of grass or sticks and bark. The nests are usually located at the base of an overhanging bush. The length of undelayed gestation is 21 days after which one or two young are born. Just after the first young is born the female mates again, but because of embryonic dispause, development is delayed and partruition of the second young does not take place for 4 months.

Special Adaptations: 
  • The females can sexually mature at 200 days, giving the animal a high reproductive rate.
  • Also known as the rat kangaroo, the brush-tailed bettong's tail is partially prehensile, enabling the animal to use it to carry nesting material.
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