BLACK-HEADED HERON

BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala)
The Black-headed Heron is a large wading bird with a long neck and long legs. The head and the top of the back are not quite black in spite of the bird’s name, but rather dark grey. The bill is long and powerful, and used by the bird to spear its prey, which consists of frogs or small fish. Most of the plumage is grey, similar to that of the Grey Heron.

The name ‘Heron’ has a complicated origin and evolved from an ancient Greek word meaning ‘to creak or screech’ (in reference to that bird’s call).

This species of heron nests in colonies at the top of trees or on cliffs. When flying, the neck is retracted, as is typical of herons as opposed to cranes.

Black-headed heron, Tanzania, Jan. 2018
Black-headed heron, Tanzania, Jan. 2018

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