This week we welcomed some new Scarlet Ibis babies to our ever expanding bird population. The Scarlet Ibis is recognized as the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago and can be seen in the tropical zones of South America. As the name suggests it is a bird with vivid scarlet plumage and black wing tips. The bright feathers are diet dependant; the birds require carotene, which they acquire in their natural habitats of swamps and lagoons by eating red crustaceans. In many captive situations the feathers lose their vivid coloring, becoming increasingly paler with each successive moult. At Birds of Eden however, the birds retain their brilliant plumage because we feed all our birds a completely balanced diet that meets all their requirements.
The Latin name for the Scarlet Ibis is Eudocimus ruber, which loosely translated means “famous red”. This awesome bird is also closely related to our rather noisy “Hadeda Ibis”. Ibises use curved slender bills to forage for food in shallow water, mud and grass. Fossil records of the Ibises have been dated back 60 million years.
Our little Scarlet Ibis babies are a mixture of brown, white and grey at the moment and as they grow their balanced diet will ensure that they acquire their vivid scarlet plumage at roughly 24 months old. Please come and visit our sanctuary to view these awesome birds and all our other beautiful birds living within a “living forest experience”.
Wriite by Charleen Thomson for Birds of Eden