Purple Heron

Purple Heron near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
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Scientific Name : Ardea purpurea
Classification : 
Kingdom   : Animalia
Phylum     : Chordata
Class         : Aves
Order        : Pelecaniformes
Family       : Ardeidae
Genus        : Ardea
Species     : A. purpurea

How do I identify this Bird:
  • It is about 78-90 cm long
  • It is a large bird but it weighs less because it is slender
  • It is bluish grey above with rufous head and neck.
  • It can be distinguished by its darker reddish-brown plumage which is bright purple in direct sunlight
  • The adult bird has chestnut head and neck with black stripes 
  • It has a narrower yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults
  • Immature birds uniform cinnamon brown 
  • It has a long thin neck and while flying the bulge of recoiled neck is very pronounced, and its protruding legs are large
Where do I find this Bird:

You can see these birds around DPS Tapi sometimes in the paddy fields. They are generally alone hiding behind dense cover in swamps and other wetlands.  When startled they fly with a harsh croak. They feed on fish, frogs, snakes, etc. It nests during June to March and it makes its nest on trees and reed beds by making a platform of sticks. Both the parents share duties of bringing up their young ones.

Local Names :

Hindi           : Lal anjan
Bengali       : Lal kank
Assamese  : Lal kol
Tamil           : Peria vellai kokku