Greenbacked (striated) Heron
|Groenrugreier Greenbacked heron
Kruger National Park
Description - The size is small compared to other Herons. The neck is short; the black crown ends in a long black crest. The upper parts are mostly blackish green, below paler grey, white on the throat. The bill is black, legs and toes are pale yellow/orange. Males and females look similar.
Distribution - Fairly common resident of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, northern Namibia, northern Botswana and northern and eastern coast of South Africa. Elsewhere in tropics and subtropics including Australia, not in Europe.
Habitat - Dense vegetation along rivers, ponds and mangrove swamps.
Biological - These solitary birds are very shy and partly nocturnal. They will often stand motionless for very long periods, often with the neck and head held horizontally, preched on a branch or root over the water. They usually hunt from cover, but may also jump, plunge or swim after their prey or even dive into the water. Astonishingly, they may even bait fish and other prey, e.g., by dropping a leaf onto the surface of the water. Size 40-46 cm, weight 200-250 g.
Diet - Fish, frogs, insects and small reptiles.
Breeding - Throughout the year. The nest is a platform of sticks and twigs above the ground or water, usually at the end of a branch. A clutch of 2-5 eggs is incubated for 23 days.
Voice - Usually silent but when it calls it sounds like a harsh single ke-yow, when put to flight like ka-ka-ka-ka, or a loud kweak..kee-kee-kee .
Other names - D Grünreiher, Mangrovereiher - DK Mangrovehejre - ES Chicuaco Chiquito, Chiccuaco cuello gris, Garcita azulad, Garza castaña, Garcita Verdosa - F Héron strié, Héron à dos vert - IT Airone dorsoverde - NL Mangrove reiger - P (Braz.) Socozinho - UK Mangrove heron, Green heron, Striated Heron, Little Heron
Mangrove and wetland wildlife at Sungei Buloh Nature Park
Birds of Nova Scotia
Canada's Aquatic Environments
Ian Sinclair et al. - Sasol birds of Southern Africa. Struik Publ. ISBN 1-86872-033-0
Kenneth Newman - Newman se voëls van Suider-Afrika. SAPPI. ISBN 1-868-12-758-3