Scarlet ibis in exhibit
Scientific Name
Eudocimus ruber
Northern South America from Venezuela to Brazil
Marshes, swamps, lakes, and streams
Estimated Wild Population
Scarlet ibis in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Scarlet ibises were named for their distinctive bright red plumage, which often has orange and pink hues. Males and females differ in size; males are larger and have a longer, curvier bill. These birds use their large beak to locate prey—mostly crayfish, crabs, insects, frogs, and fish—in the water. They have long, thin toes that help them step through water and catch their prey.

Interesting Fact 1

Scarlet ibises live in large colonies that can include thousands of individual birds, which helps protect the flock against predators.

Interesting Fact 2

Males use elaborate preening, head rubbing, and flight displays to attract females, and breeding pairs wrap their necks around one another to cement their courtship.

Interesting Fact 3

They learn to swim shortly after hatching.

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Species Survival Plan®

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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Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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