Ardea purpurea   Linnaeus,  1766 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 78-90 cm; Length 79-89 cm.

Color: brownish grey above, rufous and black below; crown black; neck rufous with black stripes on sides; underwing with leading edge rufous, grey coverts and slaty black flight feathers. Immature paler and browner than adult, crown rufous, stripes on neck obscure or absent. Bare parts: iris yellow; lores greenish yellow; bill buffy yellow with brown on culmen and tip; feet and legs brown with yellow on back of tarsus and soles of feet.

Voice: Loud frarnk while in flight.

Habits: Generally solitary, shy, feeds in dense aquatic vegetation, active in morning and evening. Breeds almost round the year.

Adult: Sexes alike, female with less developed crest and pectoral plumes, a lanky marsh bird with long slender snake-like neck, slaty-purple above, chestnut and black below. Bill dark yellow, drooping crest black, crown, crest and a line down hind neck black, a second up-running black line from gape to crest, a third black line down whole length of side of neck, rest of head and neck rufous with another black streak down fore-neck. Chin and throat white, long drooping plumes on upper breast buff white with black and chestnut streaks, rest of upperparts slaty black and rich chestnut, underparts chiefly chestnut and black, legs reddish-brown. Juvenile: Cinnamon-brown.

Breeding season: June to October in the north of India or November to March in the south of India. Nest- The nest is a platform of reeds stems or sticks positioned over or beside water up to 3 m high in flooded reedbeds, 3-4 m high in thickets or mangroves or up to 25 m high in trees.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Purple Heron (English)
• Nari, Laal anjan, Laal sain (Hindi)
• Chayamundi (Malayalam)
• Yerra narayana pakshi (Telugu)
• Chen-naara (Tamil)
• Pavkali bagla, Pankadi bagla (Marathi)
• Nadi, Nadi bagalo (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The main threat to this species in Europe is the loss of reedbeds though direct elimination (to reduce sedimentation), agricultural encroachment, water management practices (e.g. drainage) and reed cane harvesting.)

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fish, water insects.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Goa, Terekhol Estuary INDIA (Record: 02/03/1983)
• Goa, Carambolim INDIA
• Goa, Neura INDIA
• Goa, Baga creek INDIA
• Goa, Candolim INDIA
• Goa, Banastarim wetlands INDIA
• Goa, Cumbarjua canal INDIA
• Goa, Divar INDIA
• Goa, Chorao INDIA
• Goa, Santa Cruz INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA (Record: 2003, 2008)
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika 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
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Pallikaranai Wetlands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Karnataka, Anekere wetland INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Gupta RC, Kaushik TK and Gupta PK (2012) WINTER MIGRATORY WETLAND BIRDS IN HARYANA ARE CONFRONTING ADVERSE CONDITIONS IN RURAL PONDS Resulting in reduction in arrival number: A case study of village Amin in Thanesar block in Kurukshetra district Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 2 (1) 7pp Available at -
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -
  • Nikhil Raj PP, Ranjini J, Dhanya R, Subramanian J, Azeez PA and Bhupathy S (2010) Consolidated checklist of birds in the Pallikaranai Wetlands, Chennai, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(8) 1114-1118pp Available at -
  • Kumar P and Gupta SK (2009) Diversity and Abundance of Wetland Birds around Kurukshetra, India Our Nature 7 212-217 Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Shanbag A.B, Walia R and Borges S.D (2001) Impact of Konkan railway project on the avifauna of Carambolim lake in Goa Zoos' print journal 16(6) 503-508 Available at -
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Bhat PI, Cristopher SS and Hosetti BB (2009) Avifaunal diversity of Anekere wetland, Karkala, Udupi district, Karnataka, India Journal of Environmental Biology 30(6) 1059-1062pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-07-03

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