Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scarlet Ibis

The beautiful Scarlet Ibis is one of the national birds of Trinidad & Tobago, the Caribbean nation where my parents were born and raised. When I lived in Trinidad as I child, I remember visiting Caroni Bird Sanctuary and seeing the thousands of Scarlet Ibis roosting and flying around the mangroves. Imagine my surprise during my recent visit to the National Zoo to see they had Scarlet Ibises! Like Flamingos, their plumage color is the result of their diet. Scarlet Ibises eat red crabs in tropical swamps which gradually turns its grey and white feathers to scarlet. In the wild, its color is much redder, probably due to increased access to their natural diet.

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