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5

Pied Heron

(Egretta [Ardea] picata)
Alternate name(s): "Pied Egret", "White-headed Egret"
Size: 43-52 cm
Weight: 245-280 g (male), 225-240 g (female)
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Pied Heron at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Grey morphology

ADULT

BREEDING

Two Pied Herons in breeding plumage on a perch (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Sewage Works, Darwin, NT, July 2013]

Pied Herons in breeding plumage "lined up" on a rail; here one can see their nuchal plumes (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Sewage Works, Darwin, NT, July 2013]

Pied Heron in breeding plumage in flight, with a view of its underwing pattern (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle Nature Park, Darwin, NT, July 2014]

Pied Heron in breeding plumage in flight, with a view of its upperwing pattern (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle Nature Park, Darwin, NT, July 2014]

NON-BREEDING

Frontal view of a Pied Heron in non-breeding plumage on the grassy fringe of a wetland
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Near-frontal view of a Pied Heron in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Near-frontal view of a Pied Heron in non-breeding plumage foraging in wet grassland
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Near-lateral view of a Pied Heron in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Lateral view of a Pied Heron in non-breeding plumage
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a Pied Heron in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

This near-dorsal view of a Pied Heron clearly shows the black cap and nuchal plumes typical of adult birds; note the sparsity of plumes and the absence of plumes, especially on the back
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Comparison between different species of egret/heron: Pied Heron at the back, Little Egret, front left, and Great Egret, front right
(photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Pied Heron; note the white head (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Pied Heron; note the white head (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Adult Pied Herons in breeding plumage, with dark caps, together with a juvenile; note the white head (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Adult Pied Herons in breeding plumage, with dark caps, together with immature/juveniles, with white to light-grey heads
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle Nature Park, Darwin, NT, July 2014]

Immature Pied Heron with its catch
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of a juvenile Pied Heron in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle NP, NT, July 2018]

Adult Pied Herons in breeding plumage, with dark caps, in flight together with juveniles, with white to light-grey heads (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle Nature Park, Darwin, NT, July 2014]

Rufous morphology

ADULT

NON-BREEDING

Near-lateral view of a rufous Pied Heron (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle Nature Park, NT, July 2014]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

This peculiar-looking immature Pied Heron may be developing a rufous-morphology plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

This peculiar-looking immature Pied Heron may be developing a rufous-morphology plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

This peculiar-looking immature Pied Heron may be developing a rufous-morphology plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Hybrid

Lateral view of a suspected hybrid between a Pied Heron and a White-faced Heron; a comparison with a Magpie Goose shows that it is a small heron (photo courtesy of R. Russell)
[Near Mareeba, QLD, December 2011]

Food, Diet

This Pied Heron has caught a snake (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[South of Darwin, NT, September 2008]

Pied Heron stalking its prey
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Immature Pied Heron with its catch
[Fogg Dam NR, Top End, NT, August 2014]

Peculiar-looking immature Pied Heron with its prey, a frog (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, May 2018]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

piehern_20140817.m4a (Top End, NT) Contact call © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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