Wednesday, March 18

Striated heron

   ›      ›   Striated heron - Butorides striata.

The striated heron (Butorides striata) is a small heron species belonging to the family Ardeidae. The striated heron species are distributed in Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Europe, Africa, Australia and Americas.

Taxonomy of striated heron

  • Scientific Name: Butorides striata
  • Common Name: Striated heron
  • French: Héron strié; German: Mangrovereiher; Spanish: Garcita verdosa;
  • Other names: Ardea striata Linnaeus, 1758; Butorides striatus, BirdLife International 2004; mangrove heron; little heron; green-backed heron;
  • Family: Ardeidae › Pelecaniformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1758)
There are up to thirty-three recognized subspecies of the striated heron. The nominate subspecies B. s. striata (Linnaeus, 1758) occurs in South America. The subspecies B. s. chloriceps (Bonaparte, 1855) and the subspecies B. s. spodiogaster, Sharpe, 1894, occur in Indian Subcontinent and Eastern Indian Islands respectively.

Indian birds - Striated heron - Butorides striata
Indian birds - Striated heron - Butorides striata

Description

The striated heron is a small bird, measuring 35 to 45 cm in length and weighing 125 to 250 grams. The wingspan is 50 to 60 cm. The females are slightly smaller. The back and the wings are blue-grey in adult birds. The underparts are white. It has a glossy greenish black cap and a short dark crest. A dark line extends from the bill to the lower edge of the eye. The bill is dark grey.

Habitat

The striated heron species prefer wooded water margins. They inhabit marshes, swamps, mangrove-lined shores and estuaries. They are observed on the margins of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes with thick marginal vegetation. They also occur in river swamps, canals, artificial ponds, salt-flats, mudflats, tidal creeks and exposed coral reefs.

Feeding habits

The striated heron species feed on insects, crustaceans, frogs, tadpoles, molluscs, fish, lizards, small birds, rodents and vegetable matter.

Breeding

The Striated heron species construct a shallow nest with twigs hidden in trees and bushes. Specific breeding season is not observed. The nest may contain three to five eggs. Both the parents take turns to feed the hatchlings.

Distribution

There are thirty three subspecies of these herons, distributed all over the world. The nominate subspecies B. s. striata (Linnaeus, 1758) occurs in South America. The subspecies B. s. chloriceps (Bonaparte, 1855) occurs in Indian Subcontinent and Sri Lanka. The subspecies B. s. spodiogaster Sharpe, 1894, occurs in Andamans, Nicobars islands of India and west Sumatra in Indonesia. The subspecies B. s. virescens (Linnaeus, 1758) or green heron occurs in USA and Canada.

Movement Patterns

The striated heron species are mostly sedentary. The northern breeding populations migrate southwards for wintering. The populations in Africa may perform local movements relating to seasonal rainfall and feeding grounds.

Status and conservation

The striated heron species are threatened by human activities, habitat degradation and loss, pesticides and degradation of mangrove forests.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these striated heron species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Butorides striata
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Ardeidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Butorides
Species:B. striata
Binomial name:Butorides striata
Distribution:Indian Subcontinent, Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and Americas;
Feeding habits:insects, crustaceans, frogs, tadpoles, molluscs, fish, lizards, small birds, rodents and vegetable matter;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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Author: JJ Harrison | License: CC BY 3.0
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