Scarlet Ibis

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Image:Scarlet ibis.jpg

Common Name: Scarlet Ibis
Scientific Name: Eudocimus ruber

Size: 25 inches (56-61 cm)

Habitat: Central and South America. Found in tropical South America and also Trinidad and Tobago. While the species may have occurred as a natural vagrant in southern Florida in the late 1800s, all recent reports of the species in North America have been of introduced or escaped birds.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 100,000 - 150,000.

Diet: Their diet is fish, frogs, reptiles and crustaceans.

Nesting: Sexes are similar; juveniles are grey and white. They nests in trees in colonies, often with other large wading birds such as herons. They build a stick nest, laying two to four eggs. Both the male and female take turns in guarding the nest site until the chicks are large enough to defend themselves. In addition, both parents help feed the chicks.

Cool Facts: A juvenile Scarlet Ibis is grey and white; they get the pink, orange, and reddish color from the rich source of pigments in the algae and small crustaceans that they eat as they age. Eggs from Trinidad were placed in White Ibis nests in Hialeah Park in 1962, and the resulting population hybridized with the local ibises, producing "pink ibises" that are still occasionally seen. It is the national bird of Trinidad and is featured on the Trinidad and Tobago coat of arms along with Tobago's national bird, the Rufous-vented Chachalaca.

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