Ibis Facts

Ibis Facts
Ibis is a wading bird that belongs to the family of ibises and spoonbills. There are 28 species of ibis that can be found around the world (they are especially numerous in the southern hemisphere). Ibis inhabits salt marshes, swamps, areas near the lakes and rivers, tropical mangroves, forests and marshy mountain meadows. Pollution of the water with pesticides, uncontrolled hunt and habitat destruction are the major threats for the survival of ibises in the wild. Some species, such as crested ibis and northern bald ibis, are on the list of endangered and critically endangered species.
Interesting Ibis Facts:
Ibis can reach 18 to 41 inches in height and 0.6 to 4 pounds of weight. Smallest species of ibis is spot-breasted ibis, and the largest - giant ibis. Males are slightly larger than females.
Ibis can be covered with white, black, brown, grey, orange-red or pink plumage, depending on the species, habitat and type of diet.
Orange-red color of feathers is result of diet based on algae and small crustaceans that are rich source of carotenoid pigments (type of pigments).
Certain parts of the body (usually face and throat) are featherless. Patches of bare skin become deep red colored during the breeding season.
Ibis has long neck with large, down-curved, pointed bill, roundish body and long legs with partially webbed feet.
Ibis is active during the day (diurnal). It roosts in the trees and bushes during the night.
Ibis is an omnivore (it eats plants and meat). Its diet is mostly based on various animals, such as fish, frogs, shellfish, crabs, small reptiles, worms, bugs and small mammals.
Long, curved bill facilitates extraction of the food from the mud. Nostrils are located at the base of the bill. Thanks to this feature, ibis can breathe even while its bill is submerged in the water.
Ibis is appreciated in most parts of the world due to ability to eliminate pest insects from the gardens and agricultural fields.
Ibis is gregarious bird that lives, feeds, roosts and nests in colonies composed of hundreds or thousands of birds. Life in the group offers protection against predators.
Natural enemies of ibises are foxes, cats, snakes and large birds of prey.
Ibises are not very vocal birds, except during the breeding season when they produce various wheezing and squeaking noise.
Female lays 3 eggs in the nest in the trees, bushes or on the cliffs. Both parents participate in the incubation of eggs which lasts 20 to 30 days.
Hatchlings are covered with black, brown or grey feathers. They are born with straight bill. Young ibises leave the nest 28 to 56 days after hatching. They stay near their parents until they learn all tricks required for the independent life.
Ibis can survive 8 to 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in the captivity.

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