Pacific Reef-Heron

Egretta sacra sacra




Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

2 - 3

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Nest is built low to the ground in a sheltered cave, in mangroves, or under a bridge.

Nest Material:



Most do not migrate



Pacific Reef-Heron: Medium-sized heron with short crest and two color morphs; one all white, the other black-gray with white on throat. Yellow eye, gray-green lores. Straight, fairly long, gray-pink and yellow bill. Long, broad wings. Short, square tail. Legs are medium-length and gray-green on the upper part, green-yellow on the feet and lower part. Feeds on fish, crustaceans, and some marine invertebrates. Forages by stalking along edge of reef and snatching prey from the water with its bill.

Breeding and Nesting

Pacific Reef-Heron: Two to three white-green eggs are laid in a shallow, untidy platform nest constructed with sticks. Nest is built low to the ground in a sheltered cave, in mangroves, or under a bridge. Incubation is carried out by both sexes for 28 days. This species sometimes nests in small colonies.

Foraging and Feeding

Pacific Reef-Heron: Feeds on fish, crustaceans, and marine invertebrates. This heron species forages by carefully stalking the edge of reefs and rocky shorelines. When prey is sighted, it thrusts down with its bill. It also holds its wings open to shade the water and more easily spot prey. Will also dangle its toes in the water to attract fish.


Pacific Reef-Heron: Generally silent, emits a "crraw" or "gyaaah" alarm call. Flight call is a "nyaah" or "nyarp". Also make harsh croaks and deep "gruk" calls.

Similar Species

Great Egret is much larger. Intermediate Egret has a black bill, and legs and feet. Little Egret has black legs and yellow feet.

Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X