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Scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Subject: Scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Poster: Axis (
Scarlet ibis.jpg
Resolution: 395x594 File Size: 110549 Bytes Date: 2017:05:25 08:32:11 Upload Date: 2017:05:25 10:19:24

Scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber)

The scarlet ibis is so-called because of its vibrant red plumage. This bird hails from Central and South America and is the national bird of Trinidad, appearing on its arms.

The scarlet ibis doesn’t start off red though. The eggs are a dull green and the chicks are actually born featherless and then turn a dark brown-grey colour with tinges of white. As they get older and feed on crustaceans and molluscs their feathers actually take on the pigments of their food. These birds also feed on small frogs and reptiles and are usually found feeding along shallow coasts and mudflats.

Their long curved bill, which is black in colour, helps them to get their food in these murky waters. Their feet are only slightly webbed and have a good grip to enable them to perch on trees.

Both the male and female take care of their chicks and help build the nest out of sticks. The young bird is able to leave the nest after about 3 weeks.

The scarlet ibis is still listed as an animal of ‘least concern’ under the IUCN Red List, although surveys have shown that their numbers are indeed dwindling.

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