Buff Necked Ibis

Theristicus caudatus

Species Information

The four buff necked ibis can be found in the aviary in the middle of the park. Look out for Carl, he loves to nibble at the keepers and loudly say hello to passers-by!

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The buff-necked ibis is found in a range of open habitats across South America. Unlike most ibis species, they are often found far away from water in habitats such as marshes, grasslands, and savannahs. They are also one of the more adaptable ibis species, often being found and nesting in areas which have been anthropogenically disturbed, such as close to towns and other residences.

This fairly large and stocky ibis are mainly covered by a grey-white plumage and buff-coloured neck and head – hence the name. The bare skin around the eyes is a distinctive black, making their red eyes very distinctive. They have a long, slim, decurved bill – alike all ibis – enabling them to sift through soft soil in search of food.

The diet of this ibis species mainly consists of invertebrates, herptiles, and small mammals.

Up to 22 years.

Ibises are closely related and resemble herons. They share much of the same behavioural traits, but one distinct difference is that ibises fly with their necks outstretched.

Ibises typically begin courting and breeding when food is most plentiful, after the rainy season. In treetops, an ibis pair will make loud vocalisations, slap each other’s bills together, and grasp tree branches. They generally nest in colonies, often amongst other birds, where they will lay a clutch consisting of 2-4 eggs, incubating them for 25-28 days. The same pair will often reuse the same nest for years.

Least Concern

The scientific name ‘Theristicus’ represents the ibis’ beak, translating to ‘a sickle shaped tool to collect or harvest’!