April 21, 2016 – White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica)

Found in freshwater wetlands throughout most of Australia, these herons are also winter visitors to Tasmania and southern New Guinea. They eat fish, amphibians, small birds, crustaceans, and insects, hunting in shallow water or wet grass. Often nesting in colonies, which sometimes include other species of heron, as well as ibises, spoonbills, and cormorants, they build their platform nests in trees near water. Though they can breed in any month, depending on rainfall, they usually nest between September and December. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.

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