Indian Pond Heron

Indian Pond Heron near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat:

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Scientific Name :Ardeola grayii

Classification:

Kingdom  : Animalia
Phylum    : Chordata
Class        : Aves
Order       : Pelecaniformes
Family      : Ardeidae
Genus       : Ardeola
Species    : A. grayii

How do I identify these Birds:
  • It is about 42-45 cm long
  • It looks similar to an egret and is earthy brown when it is at rest
  • But when it starts flying its whitish wings, tail and rump contrasting with dark saddle.
  • In the non-breeding plumage the head, neck and breast are streaked. See the difference between the breeding and non-breeding plumage in the photo gallery above
  • During the breeding season it acquires maroon hair-like plumes on back, and adult breeding plumage has yellowish-buff head and neck, white nape-plumes
  • When it flies its neck is pulled in which is typical of herons.
Where do I find these Birds:
  • It is a very common bird around the paddy fields around DPS Tapi.
  • They are found in wetlands : river, temple ponds, roadside ditched even in the midst of populated towns.
  • It can also be found on the seacoast in mangrove swamps, tidal mudflats etc.
  • It feeds on Frogs, fish, insects and crabs.
  • Generally it stands on the edge of the water hunched very quietly and patiently for movement of its prey which it jabs once it locates it.
  • Sometimes it also wades into the shallows with its neck and bill ready for catching its prey.
  • It nests mainly during the months of May-September during the monsoon.
  •  It roosts on large leafy trees even if there are other birds.
  • Its nest is generally   an untidy twig platform tamarind or other such trees.
Local Names:

Hindi     : Bagla, Andha bagla, Chama bagla, Khunch bagla
Bengali  : Konch bak
Tamil     : Kulathu kokku, Kurutu kokku, Madai katan, Madayan