Family Herons (Ardeidae)


Madagascar Pond-heron (Ardeola idae)


French: Crabier blanc German: Dickschnabelreiher Spanish: Garcilla malgache
Other common names: Malagasy Pond-heron

Ardea Idae


, 1860,

east coast of Madagascar


Possibly closely related to A. grayii, A. bacchus and A. speciosa. Monotypic.


Madagascar and Aldabra, Maore (Mayotte) and Europa I. Winters in EC & E Africa, mainly in Kenya and Tanzania, but S to Mozambique and W to DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

45–48 cm. Typical two-tone bill of genus separates from Bubulcus and Egretta. In breeding condition, entire plumage snow-white, sometimes with slight... read more


A “krruk” considered to be louder, more raucous and less shrill than that of A. ralloides... read more


Shallow waterbodies fringed with vegetation or with floating vegatation, including marshes, lakes,... read more

Food and feeding

In breeding zones, fish, frogs, skinks, geckos, grasshoppers and beetles. Secretive, solitary feeder, only rarely forming flocks. On... read more


Mainly Nov–Dec (late Oct–Mar), at start of rains; on Aldabra, season inferred (from acquisition of breeding plumage) to be Nov... read more


Migrates to C & E Africa; a few birds remain in Madagascar, but away from breeding grounds;... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously considered Near Threatened. Listed on Appendix 2 of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. Population estimated at 1300... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez-Vilalta, A., Motis, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Madagascar Pond-heron (Ardeola idae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 November 2019).