The white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis) belongs to the family Ardeidae. The white-bellied heron is distributed in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, including northeast India, Bhutan and Myanmar. It also occurs in Tibet and Bangladesh. It is believed to have become extinct in Nepal. These herons winter in the Brahmaputra lowlands. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these heron species and has listed them as "Critically Endangered".
The white-bellied heron is a large bird with a height of 127 cm. Its wingspan is estimated to be over 200 cm. The back and the long neck are dark grey in color. The belly plumage is whitish. The bill is large and black in color. The legs are also black. The breeding birds have a greyish-whitish nape plume and elongated grey breast feathers with whitish centers. These herons inhabit swamps, marshes, margins of rivers and streams. They may be feeding on fish, frogs and reptiles. These herons are critically endangered and the population may be between 50 to 249 mature individuals.
|Indian birds - White-bellied heron - Ardea insignis|
Image source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White-bellied_Heron_at_Pho_Chu,_Bhutan.JPG
Author: Mahesh Iyer | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: White-bellied heron - Ardea insignis.