Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Black-headed Heron

The black-headed heron (Ardea melanocephala) is a wading bird of the heron family , common throughout much of  sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. It is mainly resident, but some west African birds move further north in the rainy season.

This species usually breeds in trees, reed beds or cliffs. It builds a bulky stick nest, and lays 2–4 eggs. 

It often feeds in shallow water, spearing fish or frogs with its long, sharp bill. It will also hunt well away from water, taking large insects, small mammals and birds. It will wait motionless for its prey, or slowly stalk its victim. (This is where I photographed this heron above) 

The black-headed heron is a large bird, standing 85 cm tall, and it has a 150 cm wingspan. It has a powerful dusky bill.

The flight is slow, with the neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and distinguishes them from  storks and cranes, and  spoonbills which extend their necks. The white underwing coverts are striking in flight.

The call is a loud croaking.

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here



  1. Hello, Jo! Pretty series of photo on your Black-headed Heron. I love the first photo. Enjoy your day!

  2. I enjoy to see Herons! Your Black-headed Heron is a big one!
    Hope you are having a great day!

  3. he is beautiful and so majestic

  4. The heron is beautiful, Jo. The first photo is absolutely gorgeous. The heron was posing perfectly for you.
    Enjoy the rest of the week!

  5. Not a bird I will see. Thank you so much.

  6. Nice post full of great info! Especially love that first shot!

  7. Nice shots of the black-headed heron. He’s an awesome looking bird. Have a wonderful day.

  8. my goodness, they are such ungainly's a wonder they can fly at all...yet I see them sail over once in a while here too. I hope to find one close up on the ground some day...

  9. Well captured Jo! Don't they have amazingly long necks!


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