Black Herons (Egretta ardesiaca) – also known as Black Egrets

The Black Herons (Egretta ardesiaca) – also known as Black Egrets -occur naturally in Africa – specifically south of the Sahara Desert, and mainly on the eastern half of the continent, including Madagascar.

Their range stretches between Senegal and Sudan and to the south. Some have been reported in Greece.

They occur in coastal areas, where they forage along tidal rivers and creeks, alkaline lakes and tidal flats; as well as in marshes, river edges, rice fields, and flooded grasslands

Black Heron, Egretta ardesiaca

The Black Herons display am interesting hunting method called canopy feeding. They use their wings like and umbrella (please refer to below photo). This createsshady areas in the water, which serves to attract fish. It may also help improve visibility under water.

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Black Heron, Egretta ardesiaca

This medium sized heron measures about 42.5 – 66 cm in height. As is suggested by their common name, their plumage is black, and their legs are blackish, and their feet are bright yellow.

The Black Herons resemble the Slaty Egrets, but are smaller, have only only yellow toes (the legs are black), and they lack the reddish foreneck and white throat of the Slaty Egrets.

Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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