Striated Heron

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Butorides striata

Description

Size 45-50cm.

This waterbird is often seen near the water’s edge or skulking through mangroves (in fact its other name is Mangrove Heron). It has a distinct black cap, blue-grey or greenish body with dark streaks, a long dagger-like bill and yellow legs.

Feeding Habits

Striated Herons roost in low branches at high tide, often diving down into the water for fish. As the tide goes out, they fly out to mudflats and settle to slowly stalk their prey, almost horizontal to the ground. They feed on small fish, crabs, shellfish, insects and especially mudskippers.

Breeding

In summer a pair build a platform of sticks in the mangroves. Both parents brood and then feed the young.

Places to Look

Fairly common among mangroves, intertidal flats, creeks and shore lines. Often difficult to see as they are well camouflaged and often ‘freeze’ before moving cautiously to stab their prey. Toomulla Beach, Plantation and Molongle Creeks.

References

NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville

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