Purple Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea purpurea
Malay Name: Pucung Serandau
Chinese Name: 草鹭

Found from Africa, Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, China to Southeast Asia with some northern populations winter south

Polytypic. Subspecies are: purpurea, bournei, madagascariensis, manilensis.

Local Subspecies: manilensis

Size: 78-90 cm

Adult has black crown, black nape-plumes, rufous-chestnut neck with bold black lines down head-sides and neck, dark chestnut-maroon belly/flanks/vent/underwing-coverts, greyish upperparts and mostly yellowish-orange bill/legs/feet. Juvenile resembles adult but has brownish-orange overall plumage and lacks the bold black lines down head-sides/neck.

Similar looking species: Grey Heron, Great-billed Heron

Habitat: Well-vegetated freshwater wetlands, marshes, lakes and occasionally coastal wetlands and mangroves.

Behaviour/Ecology: Often stays hidden in reedbeds or dense vegetation for long periods of time.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Sungei Buloh, Kranji Marsh, Bishan Park, Central Catchment Forest, Lorong Halus, Pulau Ubin and any patch of suitable habitat.

Featured articles:

BirdLife International. (2019). Ardea purpurea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22697031A154816177.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.