French: Crabier chevelu German: Rallenreiher Spanish: Garcilla cangrejera
Carniola, west Slovenia.
Closely related to A. grayii, A. bacchus and A. speciosa. Two subspecies recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution
A. r. ralloides
(Scopoli, 1769) – SW & C Europe, and NW Africa (Morocco), E to region of Aral Sea and SE Iran; some N populations winter in Mediterranean area and Middle East, but main wintering areas are in tropical sub-Saharan Africa.
A. r. paludivaga
Clancey, 1968 – Africa S of Sahara, and Madagascar.
42–47 cm; 230–370 g; wingspan 80–92 cm. Over most of its range, this species is the only Ardeola. Appears mainly brownish buff at rest, but... read more
Considered to be mainly silent, but a shrill, harsh-sounding “karr” is mainly heard at dusk,... read more
Wide variety of preferably freshwater wetland habitats, including swampy plains, river valleys,... read more
Food and feeding
Mainly insect larvae (mayflies, dragonflies and flies), with some fish (Scardinus, Cyprinus, Carassius, ... read more
Apr–Jul in Eurasia and N Africa; mainly during rains in Africa S of Sahara (except in W Africa, where many records of nesting during... read more
Palearctic populations migratory and dispersive: in Europe, post-breeding dispersal of juveniles... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In Palearctic, population has shown marked fluctuations (see Family Text), with marked decrease between c. 1920 and 1940, due to... read more
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