Puna Ibis (Plegadis ridgwayi)

Puna Ibis

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Threskiornithidae | [latin] Plegadis ridgwayi | [authority] Allen, 1876 | [UK] Puna Ibis | [FR] Ibis de Ridgway | [DE] Punaibis | [ES] Morito de la Puna | [NL] Puna-ibis


Monotypic species


Plegadis is a bird genus in the family Threskiornithidae. Member species are found on every continent except Antarctica as well as a number of islands. Among the extensive vertebrate and invertebrate fossils recovered from the Rexroad local fauna of the Upper Pliocene of Meade County, Kansas are remains of the Recent species of ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis and Phimosus infuscatus. The extinct species Plegadis gracilis and an ibis of the genus Eudocimus were also identified from this fauna. Ecological information derived from these ibises and previous work indicate that this area probably had a warm, moist, frost-free, tropical climate as is found today in parts of northern South America where ibises of these genera are sympatric.

Physical charateristics

It has long legs, a long decurved bill, and a patch of bare reddish facial skin. It resembles the largely allopatric White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi), but in adult plumage lacks the white on the face and has darker legs, a darker iris, and darker body plumage.

Listen to the sound of Puna Ibis

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/CICONIIFORMES/Threskiornithidae/sounds/Puna Ibis.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 56 cm size max.: 61 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 2  


South America : Westcentral. This species is found from the highlands of central Peru south to Bolivia, extreme northern Chile and north-west Argentina; it is also a non-breeding visitor to the Peruvian coast


It is found in swampy areas, rushy pastureland, mudflats, pools and streams, but also occurs in bunch-grass on hills, sometimes far from water


The Puna Ibis doesn’t have a specific breeding season but laying seems to peak in April to July. They form colonies and nest in tall reeds using dry vegetation about 50-100 cm above water level. Usually 2 eggs are laid and the chick hatches with a covering of dark brown down.

Feeding habits

The puna ibis uses its long, curved bill to probe for food in shallow waters and mud. Groups of ibis feed together, seeking fish, frogs, and small aquatic animals to eat.

Video Puna Ibis


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has a very 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.
Puna Ibis status Least Concern


Visits Peruvian coast May-Sept. Vagrants recorded in N Peru.

Distribution map

Puna Ibis distribution range map

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