• Size

    2.2 lbs (1 kg), 30 inches (76 cm) long
  • Diet

    Small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, worms and insects
  • Range

    South America and occasionally Florida
  • Habitat

    Coastal areas and wetlands

Physical Characteristics

  • Bright red to pink in color with long legs, necks and beaks. Usually have a darker blue or black color on wing tips.
  • Typically weigh around 2.2 lbs (1 kg) or less and are about 30 inches (76 cm) long.
  • Juveniles are duller in color, typically a grey-brown color with a white underside.

Animal Fact

Adults will make a “honking” noise as a form of communication.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, worms and insects.
  • Uses long beak to search water for food and to peck surfaces for other prey items.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs throughout South America and is occasionally seen in Florida.
  • Seasonal shifts and migrations move this bird between coastal environments and interior wetlands.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Males may use preening, shaking, bill popping, head rubbing and high flights in mating rituals to attract females.
  • Utilizes a colonial or social breeding system where nests are built close together, often in the same tree. There are typically 3-5 eggs per nest and will hatch after 19-23 days. Chicks will typically become independent after about 75 days.
  • Parents share parenting responsibilities, alternating during the incubation period.
  • Polygynous species, males will mate with multiple females.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Highly social animal, not just with breeding, but also for foraging.
  • This species is vulnerable to predation by large cats which is another reason they stay in large groups.
  • Life expectancies can vary greatly for this species between native habitats (usually 15 years of age) and zoo or aquarium settings (25-30 years of age).


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