Thursday, 18 August 2016

Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)

OTHER NAMES: Chinese Pond-Heron
Latin Etymology: Ardeola ("small heron") bacchus (after Bacchus - for wine coloured breeding plumage)
Sub-adult in non-breeding plumage of Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) at Kuala Lumpur Gardens - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Pucung Cina ("China Heron")
Weight: ?
Length: 46cm
Wingspan: 75-90cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

This is a fairly average sized small heron species found broadly over continetal East-Asia, but perhaps notable most for the identification headache it causes - it is part of a group of three species, the other two being Javan Pond Heron and Indian Pond Heron that while in the non-breeding plumage appear functionally identical to each other, though distinct when breeding.  Fortunately for me, this bird isn't *quite* in full on non-breeding plumage and the identification can just about be made by the hint of maroon plumage around the face.  All three species can be found in Malaysia though, so care must be taken.

Related Species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae 
Genus: Ardeola 
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A fairly common non-breeding migrant.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single individual in Kuala Lumpur in the central gardens.

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto   

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