New South Wales.
Frequently placed in genus Egretta or sometimes in Mesophoyx, but DNA analyses indicate closer genetic link with Ardea#R. Hitherto considered conspecific with A. brachyrhyncha and A. intermedia, but differs from latter in characters listed under that species, and from former (to which it is much more similar despite greater geographical disjunction) in its smaller size (effect size for tail −3.08, score 2) but longer bill (effect size 1.809, score 1) (3); head tucked into chest vs head and neck horizontal in snap-display (2); “glock” and “kroo” call in alarm vs apparently none (allow 3); confirmation needed on this vocal evidence, but given the interposition of A. intermedia and the morphometric disjunction of the taxa this uncertainty is provisionally overruled here. Monotypic.
Lowland New Guinea and Aru Is, and S through Australia. In winter reaches Tasmania, and probably also Moluccas and E Lesser Sundas.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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