We have a small flock of scarlet ibis
Location in the Zoo
They share an enclosure with our Chilean flamingos.
In the Wild
The scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) is found in South America ranging from Trinidad and Tobago, down through Venezuela to Brazil, living in fresh and salt water marshes and swamps. The scarlet ibis is the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago.
The scarlet ibis is so named due to their bright colour which is produced by the shellfish they eat. Both sexes look the same although males are larger. They have a long curved bill which not only aids them while hunting for food in the water, but also allows them to clean and smooth their feathers. Long legs allow them to wade through marshes and swamps easily. They are both strong fliers and swimmers.
Their main source of food is found in the water where they hunt crabs, fish, insects and prawns. However they will also eat fruit and seeds.
Scarlet ibis live together in large flocks, nesting in trees together at night. During the breeding season the male will put on a display to attract a female, once paired the two will mate for life.
These ibis are at risk not only from habitat loss but also poisoning from insecticides which also affects their food source.