WHITE –BELLIED HERON
Ardea insignis R Vulture+: 127cm. Like grey
heron but considerably larger. Swamps, lakes and
rivers. NE.India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bihar north
of ganges, Bangladesh and N. Maynmar. One
December record from tamil Nadu.
Local Names :
Size: Grey heron+. Field Characters: Like the
grey heron but considerably larger. Crown slaty
black. Longer, crest feathers tipped with grey.
Tail and primaries slatyblack. Distribution:
Resident in eastern India north of the Ganges but
apparently rare. A solo identifyed at Point
Calimere, Tamil Nadu, in December 1983 from
among a flock of egrets and herons is the southern
most record for the country. Habits: n Similar to
other herones. Nesting: Not recorded in India.
Breeds in Mynmar in April in massive nests on the
Casmurodius albus RM Vulture+:91cm. Snowy white,
legs black bill black and yellow. Marshes,
rivers, etc. Subcontinent; Sri Lanka. Winter: n
Andamans, Nicobars (?), Maldives. Straggler to
Pakistan and Uttar Pradesh.
Local Names :
Bada Bagla- Hindi ; Bada Bak- Bengali; Bor Bke
–Assamese; Pedda pakshi-Telugu; Channarai- Tamil
Size: Grey heron: Field Characters: Alanky
snow white egret. Legs bare, black, bill
black-and yellow, or yellow. Breeding birds
develop a cluster of flimsy ornamental dorsal
plumes falling over beyond the tail. Difficult to
distinguish from other egrets in non-breeding
plumage except the little egret which has
party-coloured black and yellows feet.
Distribution: Resident throughout the subcontinent
; Sri Lanka; Andamans (winter).
Two races :
alba(winter straggler); modesta (resident).
Habits: Affects jheels , marshes; rivers ect.
Usually solitary. Behaviour and feeding
habits similar to grey herone’s.
Food: fish, frog etc. Nesting : Season—July to
February depending on locality. Colonial,
in the mixed heronries. Nest—a flimsy platform of
sticks on trees in or near water or trees away
from water even in the midst of noisy city
streets. Eggs: 3to 4, pale green. Both sexes
share domestic duties.
Ardea purpurea RM Vultura+: 97cm.; standing 70cm.
Bluish grey above. Appears bright purple in
direct sunlight. Jheels, lakes and rivers.
Subcontinent; also Andamans, Nicobars, Sri Lanka.
Names : n Lal anjan-Hindi ; Lal kank-Bengali;
Lal kol-Assamese; Yerra narayana tella konga-
Telugu; Peria vellai kokku- Tamil; Perumunti-
Size: Grey heron
; Field Characters: Bluish grey above with rufous
head and neck; black and chestnut below. Bright
purple in direct sunlight. Immature birds uniform
cinnamon brown. Distribution: Resident and
locally migratory throughout Indian subcontinent,
Andamans and Nicobars; Sri Lanka. Numbers
augmented by winter visitors. Habits: Largely
crepuscular and solitary . Seen at jheels,
keepsto dence cover, flies up with a harsh croak
when startled. Food: Fish frogs snakes .
Nesting: June to March depanding on locality .
Usual;ly in exclusive colonies of its own; if in a
heronery, segregated to its own species .
Nest—platform of sticks in the trees, reed beds
Pandanuds . Eggs –3 to 5, pale sea green or
greenish blue . Both sexes share parential
Ardea cinerea RM Vulture+: 98cm; standing 75
cm. Conspicuous black dotted line on mid foreneck
, long black occipital crest. Swamps , estuaries
and rocky offshore islets. Subcontinent Andamans
Nicobar , Sri Lanka; Maldives.
Local Names :
Nari , Kabud , Anjan, Sain-Hindi, Kyara-Bihar;
Sada kank or Kank, Anjan- Bengal; Saa-Sind; Brag-
Kashmir; Nazayana pachchi- Telugu; Narai,
Sambal narai-Tamil; Charamunti- M,alayalam;
Kalapua karwalkoka, Indura koka –Sinhala; Kudal-
Koils of Maharashtra.
Size: Asian openbill stork+: Field
Characters: A lanky stork like bird; ashyu grey
above with white crown and neck; grayish white
below, with long slender S-shaped neck, narrow
head, and pointed dagger bill. Along black
occipital crest and elongated white feathers on
the breast with some black streaks. A
conspicuous black dotted line down middle of
foreneck. Female similar, but crest and pectoral
plumes less developed. Solitary, at reedy jheels,
rivers etc. Distribution: Throughout the Indian
union up nto c. 1400 m in the Kashmir Valley;
Bangladesh; Pakistan Sri Lanka ; Myanmar.
Resident and migratory. An individual ringed at
Amritsar in March was picked up dead the following
month at Balkash lake in Russia. Habits:
Somewhat crepuscular. Wades circumspectly into
shallow water with neck craned and bill poised, or
stand hutched up but alert waiting for a frog or
fish to blunder within striking range. Files with
steady wing beats, neck folded back and head
drawn in between the shoulders, the long legs
trailing behind. Call: Adeep harsh croak uttered
in flight. Nesting: Season-- mainly July to
September in N.India, November to March in the
South, and in Sri Lanka. Nest-- a twing platform
with the central depression lined with grass,
etc. Built gregariously in trees, often amongst
mixed heronries . Eggs—3 to 6, deep sea green.
Both sexes share all domestic duties.
GOLIATH HERON :
V Vulture+: 142-152 cm. Looks like
a gigantic purple heron. Lakes, swamps,
estuaries and tidal creeks. Isolated records from Pakista, Madhya pradesh, Bengal Bangladesh and
Names : Not recorded.
Size: c. 142-145 cm. (56-60in.). Field
Characters: Looks like a gigantic Purple Heron.
Crown and crest deep vinous chestnut, neck rufou-cinnamon;
chin; cheeks and throat white, elongate breast
plumes streaked white and slaty black. Upper
parts, wings and tail stay grey .Lower parts
including wing lining deep chestnut or maroon.
Sexes alike. Distribution: Rare vagrant.
Recorded from Madhya Pradesh and Bengal; also
Pakistan; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka. Essentially an
African/Arabian species. Habits: Solitary
frequents estuaries, swamps, inland lakes. Food:
Similar to other herons. Nesting : Extralimital.
Breeds on inlands off the African and Arabian