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Striated Heron | Birds And Me

Striated Heron


Striated Heron

Scientific Name:  Butorides striata

Striated Heron image

Striated Heron  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Waders    693  Views


Adults have a blue-grey back and wings, white underparts, a black cap, a dark line extends from the bill to under the eye and short yellow legs. Juveniles are browner above and streaked below.
These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, but are easier to see than many small heron species. They mainly eat small fish, frogs and aquatic insects. They sometimes use bait, dropping a feather or leaf carefully on the water surface and picking fish that come to investigate.
They nest in a platform of sticks measuring between 20–40 cm long and 0.5–5 mm thick. The entire nest measures some 40–50 cm wide and 8–10 cm high outside, with an inner depression 20 cm wide and 4–5 cm deep. It is usually built in not too high off the ground in shrubs or trees but sometimes in sheltered locations on the ground, and often near water. The clutch is 2–5 eggs, which are pale blue and measure around 36 by 28 mm.
An adult bird was once observed in a peculiar and mysterious behavior: while on the nest, it would grab a stick in its bill and make a rapid back-and-forth motion with the head, like a sewing machine's needle.


  • 40-48 cm

  • 16-19 Inch

  • gray

  • black  (Bird may have more colors)
  •    कांचा बकुला
  •    ചിന്നക്കൊക്ക്
  •    छोटाखुट्टे बकुल्ला

The striated heron species prefer wooded water margins. They inhabit marshes, swamps, mangrove-lined shores and estuaries. They are observed on the margins of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes with thick marginal vegetation.
They also occur in river swamps, canals, artificial ponds, salt-flats, mudflats, tidal creeks and exposed coral reefs.


The striated heron species feed on insects, crustaceans, frogs, tadpoles, molluscs, fish, lizards, small birds, rodents and vegetable matter.



The striated heron (Butorides striata) is a small heron species belonging to the family Ardeidae.

There are up to thirty-three recognized subspecies of the striated heron. The nominate subspecies B. s. striata (Linnaeus, 1758) occurs in South America. The subspecies B. s. chloriceps (Bonaparte, 1855) and the subspecies B. s. spodiogaster, Sharpe, 1894, occur in Indian Subcontinent and Eastern Indian Islands respectively.

The striated heron is a small bird, measuring 35 to 45 cm in length and weighing 125 to 250 grams. The wingspan is 50 to 60 cm. The females are slightly smaller. The back and the wings are blue-grey in adult birds.

The underparts are white. It has a glossy greenish black cap and a short dark crest. A dark line extends from the bill to the lower edge of the eye. The bill is dark grey.

The Striated heron species construct a shallow nest with twigs hidden in trees and bushes. Specific breeding season is not observed. The nest may contain three to five eggs. Both the parents take turns to feed the hatchlings.

The striated heron species are mostly sedentary. The northern breeding populations migrate southwards for wintering. The populations in Africa may perform local movements relating to seasonal rainfall and feeding grounds.

    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season