These Scarlet Ibis are on exhibit in Animal Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando. They are mixed in with their cousins, the White Ibis. We have White Ibis in our back yard all the time because we have a creek running behind the golf course but I had never seen the Scarlet ones till we saw them here. At one time, a hybridization program was tried in south Florida, the Scarlets were bred with Whites but all that came out of it were pinks; apparently, they are no longer seen either.
The Scarlets are gorgeous and they get their fantastic coloring from eating shrimp and crustaceans just like Flamingos do. They grow to about 30” tall and have a 1’ wingspan. Related to Herons, Spoonbills, and storks; they fly in a V-formation with the leader dropping back when tired.
Ibis, White or Scarlet, are very gregarious and basically stay together in a pack. The young Whites are brown and are calico brown/white when maturing. Like Sandhill Cranes, the parents both take responsibility for guarding the nest and feeding their young.
These are relatively quiet birds which is good because sometimes we have 30 or more (Whites) at the pond behind us! We love to watch them marching across the golf-course; eating frogs and insects on their way.
They are the national birds of Trinidad and Tobago.
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