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Pied Heron - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by RMD
Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia, April 2005
Egretta picata

Ardea picata


Photo © by macdoc
Far North Queensland, Australia, 2015

43–55 cm (17-21¾ in)

  • Dark wings, body and crested head
  • White throat and neck

Immature birds lack the crest as well as the dark colouring.


Discontinuous range from in southern Borneo and Sulawesi, western and southern New Guinea and northern coastal areas of Australia from the eastern Kimberleys to Queensland and south to about Townsville.

Resident in some areas but in others appears to undergo long-distance movements. May be a non-breeding visitor outside Australia.

Vagrants recorded at various localities in eastern Australia.


This is a monotypic species[1].

This species has been placed in either genus Egretta or in genus Ardea by different authorities. Opus is following the majority of the international taxonomic checklists and therefore lists this species in Egretta


Photo © by tcollins
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, September 2006

Wetlands and wet grasslands. Lakes and swamps, sewage ponds and farmland, estuaries, mudflats and mangroves.



They feed on insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, dragonfly larvae and water bugs. With the addition of crustaceans and amphibians.


They nest in trees.


  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. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved January 2019)
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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