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A photo of a Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)
Bare-faced Ibis

Bare-faced Ibis

Phimosus infuscatus

The Bare-faced Ibis, known scientifically as Phimosus infuscatus and colloquially as the Whispering Ibis, is a bird of striking appearance. Its plumage is primarily a dark brown or blackish hue, and as its name suggests, it sports an unfeathered face. The skin on its face is a vivid reddish color, complementing its long, decurved bill of a pinkish to reddish brown shade. This species also boasts long, pink legs. An adult Bare-faced Ibis typically measures between 45 and 50 centimeters in length.

Identification Tips

To identify the Bare-faced Ibis, look for its distinctive lack of facial feathers and reddish facial skin. The long, curved bill and pink legs are also key characteristics. The bird's overall dark plumage can appear brown or blackish depending on the light.


The Bare-faced Ibis favors open landscapes such as wet meadows, savannas, marshes, and rice fields. It is commonly found at or near sea level, though it has been recorded at higher elevations in Venezuela and Colombia.


This species has a broad range across South America, with sightings in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.


The Bare-faced Ibis is a gregarious bird, often seen in large flocks with its own kind or mingling with other ibis species. It is not particularly territorial, except when it comes to competing for food. Nesting behavior is less aggressive compared to other ibis species, and they are known to share nesting sites with other birds. Males exhibit larger bills relative to their body size, but sexual selection is less pronounced than in other ibis species.


Breeding season for the Bare-faced Ibis typically spans from August to December. They breed in small colonies and construct their nests in trees or shrubs, forming platforms. Clutch size varies from 1 to 8 eggs, which are lightly colored, ranging from green to blue. Both parents partake in the incubation process, which lasts for 21 to 23 days.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Bare-faced Ibis includes insects, worms, clams, and other small invertebrates. It forages in moist soil and along the edges of standing water.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Bare-faced Ibis as Least Concern, indicating that the species does not currently face a significant threat of extinction.

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