Scarlet ibis in exhibit
Scientific Name
Eudocimus ruber
Geographic Range
Central Columbia, central Venezuela, and the Atlantic coast of South America
Insects, mollusks, and other small crustaceans
Scarlet ibis in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Scarlet ibises are wading birds named for their bright red or pink plumage. They have black wingtips, eyes, and bill. Their necks and legs are long and their bill curves downward. They live in wetlands and coastal areas.

These birds are polygynous, so one male mates with several females. They place nests close together on platforms they build in trees. Females lay up to five eggs and incubate them for around 21 days. Both parents care for young and alternate tasks. Chicks fledge around 30–40 days and become independent at 75 days. They become mature at age 2.

Did You Know?

  • Scarlet ibises follow behind ducks while they are foraging. They can then snatch the insects that are disturbed by the ducks’ movement.
  • These birds form large colonies during breeding season that may include thousands of other birds. This protects the group, including young birds, against predators and helps them search for food.
  • Young ibises learn to swim shortly after hatching.
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We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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