Numenius chihi Viellot, 1817, Paraguay. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: White-faced ibis; French: Ibis а face blanche; German: Brillensichler; Spanish: Morito Cariblanco.
17–25.5 in (43–65 cm); 1.3 lb (610 g). Deep chestnut plumage with metallic green and purple gloss on back, wings, head, and neck. A border of white feather surrounds the pinkish to red facial skin. Legs are reddish.
The range forms a broad band across South America, reaching as far north as southern Peru and Brazil and south to include the northern thirds of Chile and Argentina. The range is markedly discontinuous, with the bird being absent north of this band until it reappears in central and western Mexico, northern California, and a large area of the midwestern and western United States, plus the western half of the United States Gulf coast.
Inhabits wetlands and all types of agricultural land. Congregates around streams, creek beds, lakes, and other water sources.
Some populations migrate, moving between breeding and wintering grounds, but others, especially those in the southern part of the range, stay in one place throughout the year.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds in the shallows of lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and wetlands. Also forages in rice and alfalfa fields when flooded. Takes fish and various other small aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates. In some areas, earthworms collected in irrigated fields are a dietary staple.
Nests can be found in swamps, marshes, bushes, or trees, especially on vegetated islands. Nests built on the ground are usually woven from dry reeds, while those in trees are built of sticks and twigs. Clutch size is three or four eggs, with an incubation period of about three weeks.
Some local populations are threatened, mainly by habitat destruction.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved