Western Reef-Heron

Egretta gularis

Order

PELECANIFORMES

Family

Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

Code 4

WEHE

Code 6

EGRGUL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Western Reef-Heron is a medium heron that may also be called the Western Reef-Egret. It is native to the tropical climates of the coasts of West Africa, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and India. This species will occasionally be spotted in the Cocos Islands, which is an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, as well as Canada and the United States. Breeding grounds are located in coastal wetlands, and nests are constructed on platforms in small trees or shrubs. Food is caught in shallow water, and diets consist of fish, crustaceans and mollusks. The conservation rating for the Western Reef-Heron is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Western Reef-Heron: This Old World species is exclusively coastal. There is a dark (shown here) and light morph. Dark morph is slate gray overall with white chin and throat. Legs are black with yellow feet. The light morph is white overall with two long narrow plumes on the back of the crown.

 

Range and Habitat

Western Reef-Heron: Found mainly along the coasts of tropical western Africa, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and east to India. The first record in North America was in Massachusetts in 1983. Since then it has been recorded in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York.

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Western Reef-Heron SONGS AND CALLS

Western Reef-Heron W1

Low, raspy calls, used during aggressive encounters.

Western Reef-Heron F1

"Aarrhh" calls, may be used when feeding or taking flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kawwwww"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Western Reef-Heron is also known as the Western Reef Egret.
  • It has occurred as a vagrant twice in Canada and four times in the United States, first on Nantucket in April, 1983 and several times between 2005 and 2007 in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey.
  • The taxonomy of this species is being seriously questioned. There are three subspecies; E. g. gularis, schistacea, and dimorpha; all of which seem to be less related than formerly believed.
  • A group of herons has many collective nouns, including a "battery", "hedge", "pose", "rookery", and "scattering" of herons."

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X