Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)

Bare-faced Ibis

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Threskiornithidae | [latin] Phimosus infuscatus | [authority] Lichtenstein, 1823 | [UK] Bare-faced Ibis | [FR] Ibis a face nue | [DE] Mohrenibis | [ES] Ibis Afeitado | [NL] Maskeribis


Monotypic species


The Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus), also known as the Whispering Ibis, is a species of bird in the Threskiornithidae family, in the monotypic genus Phimosus.

Physical charateristics

This Ibis is darkish red overall. It has bare red skin on the face and a long, decurved, pink to yellow bill. In flight its pink legs barely extend beyond its tail, a feature which distinguishes it from flying White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi whose longer legs extend noticeably beyond the tail.

Listen to the sound of Bare-faced Ibis

[audio: Ibis.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 46 cm size max.: 54 cm
incubation min.: 21 days incubation max.: 23 days
fledging min.: 27 days fledging max.: 30 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


South America : widespread. It occurs from northern Colombia east through the Venezuelan llanos and from eastern Brazil west to Bolivia and south to central Argentina.


It is found in marshes, wet meadows, rice fields, savannahs and similar open habitats.


Breeds solitary or in loose colonies, usually in smaller monospecific groups or in mixed larger groups. Builds nest low above ground, out of sticks and twigs. Clutch size is 2-5 eggs which are incubated for about 3 weeks. Young fledge after about 4 weeks more. This species is highy sensitive to predation with colonies loosing up to 80% of the chicks in Venezuela.

Feeding habits

Bare-faced ibises are often found foraging in moist soil as well as along the edge of standing water. They rarely step in to the water. The diet consists of worms, small invertebrates and insects. Zfollows cattle to forage the disturbed prey. Usually found solitary or in small groups.

Video Bare-faced Ibis


copyright: Pere Sugranyes


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Bare-faced Ibis status Least Concern


Not well known, but movements related to rainfall seem usual to be throughout range; in C?rdoba (NC Argentina) only occurs in very wet years; sometimes in fair numbers, in Brazil appears periodically in great numbers in some regions, e.g. Pantanal, Mato Grosso.

Distribution map

Bare-faced Ibis distribution range map

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