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Chinese Pond Heron
42 - 52 cm (16Â½-20Â½ in)
Sexes similar. Females have a paler foreneck, shorter plumes and browner scapulars and tertials.
 Similar species
In breeding plumage has darker head and upper breast than Javan Pond Heron and rufous crest plumes (not whitish buff). Javan Pond Heron is also shorter-winged, smaller-billed and smaller-bodied.
An East Asian bird breeding from north-east India and Burma east to southern China and north to Beijing and Japan. Has bred in Manchuria. Northern birds are migratory, wintering south to Indochina, Malaysia and Indonesia as far as Borneo.
Recorded in the Western Palearctic only in Norway in autumn 1973 and an adult in summer plumage at Hortobagy in Hungary in August 2000. The origins of these birds are unknown but the Norwegian specimen has been accepted as a wild bird. The Hungarian bird will probably also be accepted as this species is not widely kept in captivity and it appeared after a spell of hot weather with strong easterly winds, ideal for Asian vagrants.
Also accidental vagrant to St. Paul Island, Alaska.
Usually freshwater, especially paddyfields, also marshes, riverbanks and lakesides, though may also be seen hunting in tidal pools.
The clutch consists of 3-6 bluish-green eggs.
The diet consists of frogs, worms, insects, crustaceans fish and shellfish; they also take small birds on occasion.
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