Indian Pond Heron

BIRD INFO

Indian Pond Heron

Scientific Name:  Ardeola grayii

Indian Pond Heron image

Indian Pond Heron  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Waders    601  Views




IDENTITY:

They appear stocky with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed from their dull colours when they take to flight, when the white of the wings makes them very prominent. It is very similar to the squacco heron, Ardeola ralloides, but is darker-backed. To the east of its range, it is replaced by the Chinese pond heron, Ardeola bacchus.
During the breeding season, there are records of individuals with red legs. The numbers do not suggest that this is a normal change for adults during the breeding season and some have suggested the possibility of it being genetic variants.

BASIC:

  • 42-45 cm

  • 17-18 Inch

  • brown

  • yellow  (Bird may have more colors)
LOCAL NAMES:
  •    কণামুছৰি
  •    দেশি কানিবক
  •    अन्हबकुला, अन्हरा बकुला
  •    કાણી બગલી
  •    अंधा बगुला
  •    ಕೊಳದ ಬಕ
  •    കുളക്കൊക്ക്
  •    वंचक, भुरा बगळा, कोक, ढोकरी, खरबा बगळा (कोकण भाग)
  •    आसकोटे बकुल्ला
  •    କାଣ୍ଟିବଗ
  •    स्वल्पकंक, अंधबक, कारण्डव
  •    குளத்துக் கொக்கு
HABIT AND HABITED:

marshes, jheels, riversides, roadside ditches, tidal creeks.

FOOD:

fish, frogs, crustaceans, insects.

VOICE:

a harsh croak, usually when flushed.

INFO:

The Indian pond heron or paddybird (Ardeola grayii) is a small heron. It is of Old World origins, breeding in southern Iran and east to Pakistan, India, Burma, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They are widespread and common but can be easily missed when they stalk prey at the edge of small water-bodies or even when they roost close to human habitations. They are however distinctive when they take off with bright white wings flashing in contrast to the cryptic streaked olive and brown colours of the body. Their camouflage is so excellent that they can be approached closely before they take to flight, a behaviour which has resulted in folk names and beliefs that the birds are short-sighted or blind.

They are very common in India, and are usually solitary foragers but numbers of them may sometimes feed in close proximity during the dry seasons  when small wetlands have a high concentration of prey. They are semi-colonial breeders. They may also forage at garbage heaps. During dry seasons, they sometimes take to foraging on well watered lawns or even dry grassland. When foraging, they allow close approach and flush only at close range. They sometimes form communal roosts, often in avenue trees over busy urban areas.

 

The Indian pond heron's feeding habitat is marshy wetlands. They usually feed at the edge of ponds but make extensive use of floating vegetation such as water hyacinth to access deeper water. They may also on occasion swim on water or fish from the air and land in deeper waters. They have also been observed to fly and capture fishes leaping out of water. Sometimes, they fly low over water to drive frogs and fishes towards the shore before settling along the shoreline. They have been noted to pick up crumbs of bread and drop them on the water surface to bait fishes.

The primary food of these birds includes crustaceans, aquatic insects, fishes, tadpoles and sometimes leeches (Herpobdelloides sp.). Outside wetlands, these herons feed on insects (including crickets, dragonflies and bees), fish (Barilius noted as important in a study in Chandigarh) and amphibians.




DISTRIBUTION MAP:
image
    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

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