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Whistling Heron - BirdForum Opus

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Syrigma sibilatrix


50–64 cm (19¾-25¼ in)

  • Grey overall plumage
  • White lower back, belly and tail

Juvenile are duller, while retaining the same overall pattern as the adults, with a lighter crown, light grey breast, and white throat and sides.


Both subspecies have blue grey upperparts; the nominate subspecies has black crown and crest, cinnamon upper wing coverts, grey crown and crest, pink bill with blue to violet at the base, green, short legs and bare blue skin around the eye.


Photo © by Pantanal1.
Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil

South America: occurs in two disjunct areas, one in Colombia and Venezuela and the other Bolivia, Paraguay and south-east Brazil, Uruguay and north-east Argentina.

Resident, possibly with some dispersal.



There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • S. s. fostersmithi: smaller than nominate, with longer bill and yellower neck and breast
  • S. s. sibilatrix:


Wet savanna areas, particularly the Llanos of the Orinoco watershed in Colombia and Venzuela. Also occurs along ditches and streams, sometimes in dry fields.



Their varied diet consists of earthworms, frogs and insects such as mantis, locusts, dragonflies, spiders and beetle larvae.


They build an untidy stick nest. The clutch consists of 3-4 pale blue speckled eggs which are incubated for about 28 days; the young fledge 42 days after hatching.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2016)
  3. Wikipedia

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