The Squacco Herons, Ardeola ralloides, breeds in southern Europe and the Middle East, and migrates to Africa for the winter. It is a rare vagrant north of its breeding range.
This small and stocky heron measures 40-49 cm in length and has a wingspan of 82-95 cm. It has a short neck and a short thick bill.
The back is buff-brown. In flight, these birds look white due to the color of their wings. During the breeding season, adults grow long neck feathers.
They breed in marshy wetlands in warm countries, nesting in small colonies – often together with other wading birds. Their platform nest is built out of sticks and placed in trees or shrubs. The average clutch consists of 3 – 4 eggs.
Squacco Herons mostly feed on insects, fish and amphibians.