Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

Description

This is a small Heron when compared to other species, measuring only around 42 to 48 cm long. This bird is short and stocky, and is mostly light brown in colour, with a shaggy breast and a prominent quill on the top of its head. The wings are, however, pure white, which makes this bird suddenly very conspicuous when it takes off. Juveniles retain the pure white wings, but have overall browner plumage.During breeding season, the Squacco Herons’ bill and area around the eye turns blue.

Habitat

This bird likes inland wetland areas, such as lakes, river valleys, swamps and basically any area where there is fresh water inland. Recently, it has been seen more in rice paddy fields.

Diet

The Squacco Heron eats mainly larval insects, but like all herons has quite a varied diet, and will eat fish, crustaceans, molluscs, amphibians and even small birds, although this is rare.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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