Habitat: estuaries, mudflats, lagoons, shallow bays, marshes, swamps, mangrove forests
Range: Central America and Northern South America
Natural Diet: insects, fish, meat, seeds, fruits, crustaceans, mollusks
Status In The Wild: Common (Least Concern)
As with flamingos, the species' brilliant color comes from pigment in the bodies of crustaceans on which it feeds. The color of its strikingly bright plumage becomes more intense as the scarlet ibis gets older. Chicks are primarily brown in color, slowly changing to the adult red by their second year. The ibis' long curved beak is used to probe for food in the mud and shallow water, guided mostly by touch. Scarlet ibis congregate in large numbers, particularly when resting. Both parents cooperate in nest building and in caring for the young.