Scarlet Ibises are spectacularly recognizable because of their unique red coloring. Their entire body is pinkish to scarlet. Even the long, curved bills, facial skin, legs, and feet are pink. During the breeding season, their feathers become bright red and their bills turn black.
Juveniles start off having a mix of grey, brown and white feathers.
- Eudocimus ruber
- Length: 21.5 – 27.5 in (55 – 70 cm)
- Weight: 20.8 oz (589 g)
- Wingspan: 36 – 38 in (91 – 97 cm)
Scarlet Ibis colonies are mostly in northern South America but they have found their way into the United States via Florida.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Scarlet Ibises in shallow marshes, cypress swamps, inland wetlands, pastures, lawns, and shallow ponds.
Scarlet Ibises use their long but curved bills to probe deep into the mud or under plants to capture their prey. They usually eat shrimp, crayfish, crabs, mollusks, scarabs, and ground beetles.
Occasionally, they may also feed on frogs, snakes, fish, fruits, and seeds.
Scarlet Ibis Call:
Nests of Scarlet Ibises are often located in trees or islands to protect the young from predators. They are usually made of a loose arrangement of sticks placed high in mangrove trees or in shrubs.
The female lays three to five eggs and both parents incubate them for around twenty days.
The Scarlet Ibis is the only shorebird with red coloring in the world. Their diet of red crustaceans creates their red coloring. However, in zoos, they are fed carrots and beetroot to maintain their vibrant red color.