The black-faced ibis (Theristicus melanopis) is a species of bird in the family Threskiornithidae. 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. The black-faced ibis also included the Andean ibis (T. branickii) as a subspecies. Some taxonomic authorities (including the American Ornithological Society) still do so.
It has a total length of approximately 75 centimetres (30 in). The head, neck and lower chest are buffish, the crown and nape are cinnamon, the upperparts and (often incomplete) chest-band are grey, the belly and flight feathers are black, and the wing-coverts are whitish (though not contrasting strongly with the grey upperparts). The bill, throat-wattle and bare skin around the eyes are blackish and the legs are red.
The similar buff-necked ibis is almost entirely restricted to warm regions, has contrasting large white wing-patches, a dark grey (not buff) lower chest, and its throat-wattle is smaller than in the black-faced ibis.
Distribution and status
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 (8,200 ft). It also occurs very locally in coastal Peru. While it remains fairly common in Argentina and Chile, this species has now been almost entirely extirpated from the Peruvian part of its range.
- Jaramillo, A., P. Burker, & D. Beadle (2003). Birds of Chile. Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4688-8
- Matheu, E., & J. del Hoyo (1992). Family Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills). pp. 472–506 in: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, & J. Sargatal (editors). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-10-5