Guardian Nature School Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Nature School For Teachers - Fall 2020 Launch! visit nature school

Black-Faced Ibis

Theristicus melanopis


Spotted this beautiful Black-Faced Ibis feeding in the yard of a house near my hotel in El Calafate, Argentina. I also saw ibises when I was in Torres del Paine in Chile. They were typically seen feeding with upland geese and oystercatchers.


Feeding in grass in yard of residential house, El Calafate, Argentina.


The Black-faced Ibis is a large, noisy ibis of temperate grasslands and puna. The Andean subspecies branickii is resident from Ecuador to northern Chile, while subspecies melanopis breeds in southern Chile and southern Argentina but migrates to northern Argentina during the winter. An isolated population of melanopis also occurs in coastal Peru. Both populations have gray upperparts, black bellies, red legs, yellow heads and necks, and long, gray decurved bills. Subspecies melanopis is slightly darker overall with a larger area of black skin visible on the throat. The similar Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus) of South American lowlands is distinguished by the large patches of white in its wings. Black-necked generally travels in pairs or small groups that can be seen flying between feeding areas and foraging by walking and probing the ground with their bills. They eat insects, worms, amphibians, and occasionally rodents. Nesting occurs in colonies, sometimes with cormorants (Phalacrocorax sp.) or Black-crowned Night-Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax). The nest is a large pile of sticks or reeds situated on a cliff, on the ground, amongst reeds, or in a tree. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Neotropical Birds

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Spotted on Jan 20, 2015
Submitted on Feb 5, 2015

Related Spottings

Black-faced Ibis Bandurria Bandurria baya Buff-necked Ibis

Nearby Spottings

Grayling Butterfly Spotting Upland Goose Least Seedsnipe
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors