Black-faced ibis

Theristicus melanopis

The black-faced ibis is a species of bird in the Threskiornithidae family. It is found in grassland and fields in southern and western South America. It has been included as a subspecies of the similar buff-necked ibis, but today all major authorities accept the split. On the contrary, the black-faced ibis includes the taxon ''branickii'' as a subspecies, although some authorities treat it as a separate species, the Andean ibis .
Black-faced ibises (Theristicus melanopis) Pucon, Araucania, Chile. Jun 15, 2014. Black-faced ibis,Chile,Fall,Geotagged,Theristicus melanopis

Appearance

It has a total length of approximately 75 centimetres . In the nominate subspecies the head, neck and lower chest are buffish, the crown and nape are cinnamon, the upperparts and chest-band are grey, the belly and flight feathers are black, and the wing-coverts are whitish . The bill, throat-wattle and bare skin around the eyes are blackish and the legs are red. In the subspecies ''branickii'' the throat-wattle is smaller, the bill is shorter, the wing-coverts are greyer, the lower chest is paler and the cinnamon on the crown and nape is brighter and more extensive.

The similar buff-necked ibis is almost entirely restricted to warm regions, has contrasting large white wing-patches, a dark grey lower chest, and its throat-wattle is smaller than in ''T. m. melanopis''.

Distribution

The nominate subspecies of the black-faced ibis is mainly found in southern South America, ranging throughout most of southern and central Argentina and Chile, where it occurs from sea-level to an altitude of approximately 2,500 metres . It also occurs very locally in coastal Peru. While it remains fairly common in Argentina and Chile, this subspecies has now been almost entirely extirpated from the Peruvian part of its range.

The subspecies ''branickii'' is restricted to altitudes of 3,000 to 5,000 metres in the Andean highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. It is generally uncommon, and formerly also occurred in Lauca in far northern Chile.

Overall the species is not threatened, and consequently assigned Least Concern by the IUCN.

Status

The nominate subspecies of the black-faced ibis is mainly found in southern South America, ranging throughout most of southern and central Argentina and Chile, where it occurs from sea-level to an altitude of approximately 2,500 metres . It also occurs very locally in coastal Peru. While it remains fairly common in Argentina and Chile, this subspecies has now been almost entirely extirpated from the Peruvian part of its range.

The subspecies ''branickii'' is restricted to altitudes of 3,000 to 5,000 metres in the Andean highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. It is generally uncommon, and formerly also occurred in Lauca in far northern Chile.

Overall the species is not threatened, and consequently assigned Least Concern by the IUCN.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPelecaniformes
FamilyThreskiornithidae
GenusTheristicus
SpeciesT. melanopis
Photographed in
Chile