Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
Now this is one I did not know and had to ask help to ID it… never having seen one before, and then on top of this it is a Juvenile bird….
I’m led to believe it breeds in southern Europe and the Greater Middle East, and winters in South Africa. As I said this is a first for me but I considered it a good find.
It is a small heron, 44–47 centimetres (17–19 in) long, of which the body is 20–23 centimetres (7.9–9.1 in), with 80–92 centimetres (31–36 in) wingspan.
It is a stocky species with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed in flight, when it looks very white due to the colour of the wings. The Squacco heron’s breeding habitat is marshy wetlands in warm countries.
The birds nest in small colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. 3-4 eggs are laid. They feed on fish, frogs and insects. Wow now all of that I had to take out of books, so we learn together with this one….