Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

White-faced Heron
Egretta novaehollandiae
(Viewing 4 of 10 photos)

White-faced Herons are probably one of the most familiar large wading birds to everyday Australians - known colloquially as "Blue Crane", their range is Australasian - Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, parts of New Guinea and many outlying islands but absent from our waterless deserts.

White-faced Herons forage mainly in and around the edges of shallow water, both salt and fresh but they also feed on land. We often see them in our back garden where they catch small skinks. They are usually solitary when feeding although occasional scattered flocks of up to 60 or so have been seen on inland swamps, especially when they are drying up and food is more concentrated. When concentrating on prey they can be rather comical to watch - peering forward with head quite still but the neck swaying to and fro.

They build a substantial stick nest usually high up in a tree, but in treeless areas such as swamps, in a variety of shrubs and bushes close to the water. Their movements are driven by climate and weather - in coastal areas where water levels are stable they are resident but further inland they move around in response to available water.

Photo: 188201

188201 ... White-faced Heron.

Photo: 188202

188202 ... White-faced Heron

Photo: 188203-D

188203-D ... White-faced Heron

Photo: 188204-D

188204-D ... White-faced Heron

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