Size: Averages 68 cm including bill and tail, 550 g.
Range and lifestyle: Common throughout Australia, they are typically found in shallow wetlands and damp grassy areas, also in coastal mangroves and tidal mudflats.
Food: Small fish, frogs, crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates.
Breeding: They can be solitary but often breed in small colonies, usually between 5-20 m up a tree where they build a flimsy flat nest. The female lays 3-5 eggs.
In the breeding season they develop long plumes on their napes, mantles and backs, in common with many other herons.
They are increasingly found in man-made and temporary water habitats.
They are generally sedentary birds, however changes to climate and an increase in their population have made them nomadic at times as they seek new areas to colonise.
On coastal mudflats where these birds are easily visible, groups of up to 50 or more birds can be seen spread out over a large area.
Text © Detlef Davies 2022 CC BY-NC-SA
This section is under development.