Capricorn Coast Birds
White-necked Heron
Ardea pacifica
Average size 95cm
  In non breeding birds the neck spots are far more pronounced  
Also known as the Pacific Heron these are found throughout Australia, except in the most arid regions, and New Guinea, they are widespread throughout their large range. Most of our local wetland areas have one or two resident Pacific Herons, both photos were taken on the Capricorn Resort road.
Their habitat is freshwater wetlands and adjacent wet grasslands where they feed by wading in shallow water or stalking through wet grass looking for fish, amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles and insects. Farm dams and irrigation and drainage ditches provide feeding habitat for them but drainage of swamps and diversion of natural river flows has disrupted some breeding activity, however this species is not considered to be under threat.
Males and females are similar and when breeding their plumage has maroon coloured plumes on the back and wings and the black spots on the neck disappear. They will breed in any month of the year in response to good rain but most breeding occurs between September and December. The nest is a loose platform of sticks in a living tree between 6 and 18 metres above ground, near or over water. Nesting may be solitary or in loose colonies and eggs are incubated by both parents.
Herons and Egrets
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