Purple Heron

Purple Heron

(Ardea purpurea)

(Adult bird during flight)

Size(80-95cm): Purple Heron is a large wader, slightly smaller and slimmer than the Grey Heron.

Habitat: It is quite evasive and prefers heavy vegetation near water where they could fish.

Area: All India except Himalayas.

IMG_0766(adult with its prey which it has pierced in the middle using its sharp, pointed bill)

My two words: Purple Heron is slaty-purple bird. The forehead and the crown are black which continue to become a thin crest. The iris is yellow. The head and neck are chestnut with a dark-purplish stripe running down on the either sides of the neck. The breast is chestnut brown.

They have long toes which help him walk over floating Flora.

Mostly solitary. The level of patience displayed by a Purple Heron bird is unparalleled. It usually stands still for hours at a stretch in wait of the right opportunity to pounce on its prey which it literally Enjoys.

They lay 5-6 blue-green eggs in their reed bed nest.  The incubation work is carried out by both the birds. The take 4 weeks to hatch and give rise to another fantastic Purple Heron.

The flight is slow with the neck curled to form ans S-shape and the legs outstretched.

The call is a harsh “fraaa” or “craa” ( or whatever which surely we can’t guess) croak.

The diet is the usual Heron diet – fish, molluscs, crustaceans.

~Arjun Basandrai

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