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Capped Heron - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by nick scarle
Madre de Dios, Peru, August 2018
Pilherodius pileatus


Breeding colours
Photo © by Steve Sanchez
Río Mayo, Moyobamba, Peru, October 2012

51–61 cm (20-24 in)

  • Yellow-white/cream plumage
  • Grey wings
  • Cream-buff neck and breast
  • Black cap
  • Long white feathers at nape of neck
  • Bright blue surrounding eyes and base of bill
  • Cobalt blue bill


South America where widespread in tropical areas. Breeds in eastern Panama and from Colombia and Venezuela to Paraguay and south-eastern Brazil.

Resident, possibly with some dispersal.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Swampy forest areas, ponds and streams, sometimes wet savanna.



They mainly eat small fish, aquatic insects and frogs and tadpoles.


There is very little known. Their stick nest is placed low in trees and their clutch consists of 2 eggs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Arthur Grosset
  3. Martínez-Vilalta, A., Motis, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52673 on 22 July 2019).
  4. Buderman, F. E. (2010). Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.capher1.01

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