Ardea cinerea   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Taxonomy
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Ardeidae

Image copyrights:pbase

Description
Size: 90-98 cm; Length 90-100cm.

Color: Generally grey with head, lower neck and underparts white; black stripe over eye ending in lax black crest; streaks on neck and neck plumes black; black shoulder patch; primaries and secondaries black above, grey below. Immature paler grey without black eye-stripe and shoulder. Bare parts: iris yellow; facial skin: lores yellow; bill yellow, vermillion in breeding birds; feet and legs brown in front, yellow behind, red at start of breeding season.

Voice: Loud frarnk while in flight.

Habits: Diurnal, generally solitary, though roosts communally in winter, breeds in colonies almost throughout the year, generally nests among reeds.

Adult: Sexes alike, but female smaller with less developed occipital crest and pectoral plumes. A long-legged and long-necked ashy-grey bird with yellow bill, long black occipital crest, white crown and neck, black dotted line down middle of foreneck, elongated black-streaked white feathers on breast, underparts greyish-white, ashy-grey above, dark central feathers with black tips, primaries, outer secondaries, primary coverts and bastard wing almost black, tail grey. Juvenile: Browner and darker grey with foreneck more conspicuously black-streaked and without lengthened scapulars and breast plumes.

Nesting: Season- mainly July to September in N. India; November to March in the south and in Ceylon. Nest- a twig platform with the central depression lined with grass etc. Built gregariously in trees, often amongst mixed heronries. Eggs- 3 to 6, deep sea-green. Both sexes share all domestic duties.


Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Grey Heron (English)
• Nari (Hindi)
• Kabud (Hindi)
• Anjan (Hindi)
• Charamunti (Malayalam)
• Narayana pakshi (Telugu)
• Sambal naarai (Tamil)
• Kudal (Kolis), Rakhi bagla (Marathi)
• Kabut, Kabooth bagala (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(The species is hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets.)
Threats:  Natural threats
(The species is also susceptible to avian influenzaand avian botulism so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Timber harvesting is a threat throughout much of the species range by removing trees used by nesting colonies and/or disturbing nearby colonies.The species is vulnerable in Madagascar owing to its restricted range, exceedingly high levels of habitat alteration (from siltation and the need for agricultural land for rice and grazing) )
Importance:  Ecosystem balance
(Grey herons are important in limiting fish populations in estuaries, rivers, and other bodies of water. Their nests also provide shelter for rodents and insects.)
Importance:  Dangers
(Grey herons can have negative effects and potentially cause dramatic losses from fish farms, preying upon readily available fish and potentially spreading diseases through the farm. Grey herons can encourage the spread of common fish viruses and infectious diseases, such as pancreatic necrosis (IPN), viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS), and spring viraemia of carp (SVC). Herons spread these diseases through regurgitated foods and excreted wastes.)

Ecology
Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Rocky, Sandy, Muddy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  fish and eels 10-25 cm long, as well as amphibians, crabs, molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, snakes, small rodents, small birds
Predator:  crows (Corvus) carrion crows (Corvus corone) foxes (Family Canidae)
IUCN Status:  Least Concern

Biogeography


• INDIA
• PAKISTAN
• BANGLADESH
• SRI LANKA
• MALDIVES
• Goa, Terekhol Estuary INDIA (Record: 30/01/1995)
• Goa, Chorao INDIA
• Goa, Divar INDIA
• Goa, Neura INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Orissa, Dhamra Port INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Pallikaranai Wetlands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Goa, Carambolim INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Karnataka, Anekere wetland INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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Page last updated on:2012-08-02

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