French: Héron pourpré German: Purpurreiher Spanish: Garza imperial
“in Oriente”; restricted to France
Subspecies and Distribution
A. p. purpurea
Linnaeus, 1766 – Purple Heron – W Palearctic, including parts of N Africa, E to Kazakhstan and Iran; Africa S of Sahara.
A. p. madagascariensis
van Oort, 1910 – Madagascar.
A. p. manilensis
Meyen, 1834 – S & SE Asia, S & E China and Taiwan to Russian Far East, and S to Greater Sundas, Philippines, Sulawesi, Moluccas (Buru) and Lesser Sundas.
A. p. bournei
de Naurois, 1966 – Cape Verde Heron – Cape Verde Is.
78–90 cm; male 617–1218 g, female 525–1135 g; wingspan 120–150 cm. Crown black with two lanceolate plumes up to 15 cm in length, head- and neck-sides... read more
Higher-pitched “frank” call than that of A. cinerea is given mainly in flight, with a “... read more
Open, shallow freshwater swamps with dense marshy vegetation, mainly in Phragmites, but... read more
Food and feeding
Fish (2–15 cm long, occasionally up to 55 cm), frogs, aquatic insects and crustaceans; also small birds and mammals, snakes and... read more
Season Apr–Jun in West Palearctic (e.g. Europe and N Africa), although time of nesting has shifted gradually from third week of Apr... read more
Marked post-breeding dispersal. West Palearctic birds migratory, mainly wintering in Africa S of... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally common in Africa, where 5000–10,000 birds in Tanzania and Madagascar, and c. 1475 individuals in Niger,... read more
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