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White-faced Heron

From Opus

Photo by NoraKororoit Creek, Victoria, Australia, March 2007
Photo by Nora
Kororoit Creek, Victoria, Australia, March 2007
Egretta novaehollandiae

Ardea novaehollandiae


[edit] Identification

58–69 cm (22¾-27¼ in); a slender, graceful heron

  • Bluish-grey overall plumage
  • Yellow legs
  • Long, slim neck
  • Pointed greyish-black bill
  • White face

Breeding birds have long feathers (nuptial plumes) on the head, neck and back.

[edit] Variations

Photo by Hans&Judy BesteSoouth West Queensland, June 2017
Photo by Hans&Judy Beste
Soouth West Queensland, June 2017

North-west Australian birds are darker and separated as parryi.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds in southern New Guinea, New Caledonia, much of Australia except the arid interior, Tasmania and New Zealand where now found throughout North and South Islands and also on some smaller islands.

Largely resident but with much wandering and makes regular movements away from on the coast in New Zealand.

Vagrants reported in the arid interior of Australia and on many islands including Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Timor, the Kai and Aru Islands off New Guinea, and Lord Howe Island, the Kermadecs, Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie Islands.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are two subspecies[1]:

  • E.n.novaehollandiae:
  • E.n.parryi:

[edit] Habitat

Lakeshores and riverbanks, mangroves, shallow lagoons and on tidal mudflats and estuaries, sometimes rocky shores.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

The nest is an untidy shallow bowl, constructed from sticks and usually placed on a leafy branch.

[edit] Diet

They have a very varied diet, consisting of fish, aquatic insects, amphibians, and in New Zealand they take the introduced Tree Frog.

[edit] References

  1. 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
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2017)
  3. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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