The magnificent red plumage of the Scarlet Ibis is only gained as an adult. The change from grey, brown and white juvenile plumage to the adult red colouration takes about two years, starting around the same time the bird begins to fly. Only the tips of an adult's wings are not red, being instead black or a very dark blue. The species was described by Linnaeus in 1758 who gave it the species name rubra from the Latin "ruber" meaning red.

Scarlet Ibises occur in tropical South America around the north edge of the continent, and islands off the coast. It is also known as a vagrant from several Caribbean islands, parts of Central America and the southern USA. The only known locality for this specimen is "South America".

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the Scarlet Ibis to be of Least Concern. It is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to ensure that international trade does not threaten their survival in the wild.

Specimen Details


Geospatial Information

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