In Thai: นกกระสาแดง, nok kra-saa daeng
Binomial name: Ardea purpurea, Carolus Linnaeus, 1766
Not to be confused with the reddish egret.
The purple heron (Ardea purpurea) is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, and southern and eastern Asia. The European populations are migratory, spending winter in tropical Africa; the more northerly Asian populations also migrate further south within Asia. It is a rare but regular wanderer north of its breeding range.
The purple heron is a large bird, 78 - 97 cm in length with a standing height from 70 to 94 cm and a 120 – 152 cm wingspan. However, it is slender for its size, weighing only 0.5 - 1.35 kg. It is somewhat smaller than the grey heron, from which it can be distinguished by its darker reddish-brown plumage, and, in adults, darker grey back. It has a narrower yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults. The most similarly-coloured heron is the Goliath heron, which is considerably larger.
The purple heron breeds in colonies in reed beds or trees close to large lakes or other extensive wetlands. It builds a bulky stick nest.
It feeds in shallow water, spearing fish, frogs, insects, spiders, small birds, rodents, salamanders, and snakes. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim. It tends to keep within reed beds more than the grey heron, and is often inconspicuous, despite its size.
It has a slow flight, with its neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes and spoonbills, which extend their necks. The long neck of the purple heron looks particularly snake-like, with more of an S-shape in flight. The call is a loud croaking "krek".
The purple heron is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
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Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Pelecaniformes Family Ardeidae Genus Ardea Species Ardea purpurea
Thai: นกกระสาแดง, nok kra-saa daeng
Ardea purpurea bournei, René de Naurois, 1966
Range: Bourne's heron. Found in the Cape Verde Islands (included in purpurea by some authors, but treated as a distinct species Ardea bournei by some others).
Ardea purpurea madagascariensis, Eduard Daniel van Oort, 1910
Ardea purpurea manilensis, Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen, 1834
Range: Asia from Pakistan east to the Philippines and Indonesia, and north to Primorsky Krai, Russia.
Ardea purpurea purpurea (nominate), Carolus Linnaeus, 1766
Range: Africa, Europe north to the Netherlands, and southwestern Asia east to Kazakhstan.
Least Concern (IUCN3.1)
Purple heron range
Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen Ban Phraek District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Ban Sang District, Prachinburi Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao Bang Phra Non-Hunting Area Bang Pu Recreation Centre Bang Saphan Noi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Bangkok Province Borabue District, Maha Sarakham Bueng Boraped Non-Hunting Area Bueng Khong Long Non-Hunting Area Cha-Am District, Phetchaburi Chaiya District, Surat Thani Chaiyo District, Ang Thong Chatturat District, Chaiyaphum Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai Doi Inthanon National Park Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Hat Yai District, Songkhla Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-Hunting Area Huai Talat Reservoir Non-Hunting Area Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi Kaeng Krachan National Park Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom Kanthararom District, Sisaket Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham Khanom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary Khao Luang National Park Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park Khao Yai National Park Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani Khok Pho District, Pattani Khuan Khanun District, Phatthalung Khun Chae National Park Khura Buri District, Phang Nga Klaeng District, Rayong Ko Phra Thong Ko Samui District, Surat Thani Ko Sichang District, Chonburi Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani Kut Thing Non-Hunting Area Laem Pak Bia Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai Mae Tha, Lampang District, Lampang Mueang Buriram District, Buriram Mueang Chachoengsao District, Chachoengsao Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi Mueang Chumphon District, Chumphon Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen Mueang Krabi District, Krabi Mueang Lopburi District, Lopburi Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi Mueang Pattani District, Pattani Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga Mueang Phayao District, Phayao Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi Mueang Phichit District, Phichit Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok Mueang Phuket District, Phuket Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram Mueang Saraburi District, Saraburi Mueang Songkhla District, Songkhla Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani Mueang Surin District, Surin Mueang Tak District, Tak Mueang Udon Thani District, Udon Thani Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit Noen Maprang District, Phitsanulok Non Thai District, Nakhon Ratchasima Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area Nong Han Lake Nong Plak Phra Ya – Khao Raya Bangsa Non-Hunting Nong Prue District, Kanchanaburi Nong Song Hong District, Khon Kaen Nong Suea District, Pathum Thani Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi Nong Yai Area Development Project Under Royal Init Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-Hunting Area Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Pak Khat District, Bueng Kan Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok Pak Thale Pak Tho District, Ratchaburi Phaisali District, Nakhon Sawan Phanat Nikhom District, Chonburi Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Phra Phrom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom Pran Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Pran Buri Forest Park Rattanawapi District, Nong Khai Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi Samut Prakan Province San Sai District, Chiang Mai Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-Hunting Area Sathing Phra District, Songkhla Satuek District, Buriram Sirinat National Park Surin Islands Taphan Hin District, Phichit Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi Thalang District, Phuket Thale Ban National Park Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani Thap Lan National Park Thawat Buri District, Roi Et Wang Chan District, Rayong Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-Hunting Area Wiang Chai District, Chiang Rai Range map of Ardea purpurea in Thailand
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