Grey Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea cinerea

Malay Name: Pucung Seriap Biasa

Chinese Name: 苍鹭

Range: Found from Europe, Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, China, Korea, Japan to Southeast Asia with most northerly populations wintering south

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: cinerea, jouyi, monicae, firasa.

Local Subspecies: jouyi

Size: 90-98 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult has grey upperparts, mostly white head and neck with prominent broad black head-stripes and blackish streaks down centre of foreneck, black nape-plumes, whitish underparts, black shoulder-patch and dull yellowish bill. Breeding adult has bright orange-yellow bill, legs and feet. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but is duller and has less contrasting head and neck pattern and much shorter head-plumes.

Similar looking species: Great-billed Heron, Purple Heron

Habitat: Mangroves and various inland and coastal wetlands.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on large fish.

Local Status: Very common resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Sungei Buloh, Mandai Mudflat, Lower Seletar Mudflat, Lorong Halus, Chinese Gardens, Pulau Ubin and any suitable patch of habitat.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2019). Ardea cinerea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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