- Ardea melanocephala
L. 84-92 cm
- Dark bill
- Black legs and feet
- Black neck
Similar in size and general appearance to the Grey Heron, which has a yellowish-orange bill and pinkish legs.
The underwings of the Grey Heron are entirely grey whereas those of the Black-headed Heron have a thick black trailing edge.
Vagrancy is rare but there are old and unsubstantiated reports from Algeria, Spain, France and Italy. In November 1971 one was reported from the Camargue in southern France but this too, is unconfirmed. More recently an immature was recorded in October-December 1987 in the Eilat-Aqaba area. Also reported in southern Egypt.
Grasslands and fallow fields. Often seen in rank vegetation near lakes and marshes but, unlike the Grey Heron, seldom seen at water.
A wet-season, colonial-breeder. The bulky stick nests are in trees, reedbeds or cliffs. The normal clutch size is 2-4 eggs.
Fish, frogs, large insects, small mammals and birds.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Black-headed Heron. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 26 September 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Black-headed_Heron