Purple Heron

Ardea purpurea

(A. p. purpurea)

Armenian Name: Շիկակարմիր տառեղ
Purple Heron

See Plate 3 for Purple Heron and other similar species

Resident Status: Breeding bird
Abundance: Uncommon
Length:78-90 cm, Wing Span:120-150 cm
Distribution Map: Map 13.
Description: Snake-like appearance due to narrow head and long sinuous neck which shows conspicuous bulge in flight.
Adult (Breeding): Orange-brown head, neck, and underparts. Head and neck striped. Dark plumes extend from dark crown; lower neck plumes extend over breast. Yellow bill.
Adult (Non-breeding): Lacks plumes and has duller bill color.
Juvenile: Pale feather edges on back, and pale brown on sides and back of neck. Lacks head plumes.
Similar Species: Differs from Grey Heron by smaller size, darker plumage overall, and thinner neck with conspicuous bulge in flight. In flight, upperwings show markedly less contrast between dark flight feathers and forewing than Grey Heron.
Behavior: Mostly active at dawn and dusk. Typically hunts in dense vegetation.
Habitat: Fish ponds, lake shores, shallow marshes.
Food: Fish, other small vertebrates, aquatic insects.
Nest: Colonial; platform of reeds in dense reedbeds.
Eggs: 57 mm, 4-5, pale blue.