Purple Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea purpurea

Malay Name: Pucung Serandau

Chinese Name: 草鹭

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

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

Local Subspecies: manilensis

Size: 78-90 cm

Identification: 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: Common 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.


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.

To top
%d bloggers like this: