Bird of the week – White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae

The White-faced Heron is a water bird. It is usually seen walking in shallow water looking for prey. Its call is a loud croak.

What the White-faced Heron looks like

The White-faced Heron is 60-70 cm in length. It is mostly pale grey, with dark grey flight feathers and a white face. It has a black beak, yellow eyes and yellow legs and feet.

Where the White-faced Heron lives

The White-faced Heron lives all over Australia. It also lives in Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand. It is found in wet places, such as mudflats, swamps, lakes and wet grasslands.

What the White-faced Heron eats

The White-faced Heron eats fishes, insects, frogs, crabs, snails, spiders and worms. It finds prey by standing still and watching for movements, walking forwards and disturbing it, and searching in crevices.

How the White-faced Heron breeds

White-faced Herons can breed at most times of the year if there is enough food.

The adults mostly breed from spring to summer. One follows the other along a branch, while pecking at sticks. They mate.

The female lays three to seven eggs in a nest of sticks in a tree. Both parents sit on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after about three and a half weeks. Both parents feed them.

The chicks fly after about six weeks. They remain with their parents until their parents chase them away. They grow into breeding adults.

Flying birds

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