Ibis are long-legged, heron-like birds that fly with their necks outstretched, unlike herons. Since ibis spend a great deal of time in water, they have partially webbed toes. These birds live in the tropical areas of the world.
Distribution: Wetlands and forests along the northeastern coast of South America, the South Brazil Bight, Trinidad and Tobago
Diet in the Wild: Algae, small crustaceans, fish, insects and small amphibians
Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Flamingo fare, ground fish, meat, Rovimix and vitamins
IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, population decreasing
Threats: Habitat destruction
The carotenoid pigments that give the scarlet ibis its bright red plumage are not produced by the ibis. Instead, these pigments are obtained from the algae and crustaceans that the ibis eats.
Ibis are very well adapted to a lifestyle of wading in shallow water. Their thin legs and digits are adapted to reduce the resistance against them as they walk through the shallow water, and their long beaks with nares located at the base allow them to poke around in the mud without having to submerge their heads or hold their breath.