16–20 years. The oldest known individual lived to 31 years in captivity.
HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Swamps, mudflats and shallow bays in northern South America from Venezuela through to eastern Brazil.
WHAT THEY EAT
Fish, amphibians, insects, crayfish, crabs and other invertebrates.
The Scarlet Ibis has a social breeding system, living in large colonies. Nests are built close to each other with more than one nest per tree.
- The Scarlet Ibis is the national bird of the Caribbean island state of Trinidad and Tobago and is featured on its coat of arms.
- This bird can live in colonies of anything from 20–2000 nests!
- Feathers and meat of the Scarlet Ibis played an important role in the lives of local Indian communities and still do to a certain extent.
- Like flamingos, Scarlet Ibis get their vibrant colouration from carotenoids contained in the crustaceans they eat. Without these pigments, they will become very pale or even white.
- They feed by probing their long beak into soft mud and sand.