The medium-sized heron is often confused for Dark Morph Little Egret. The birds differ in size, structure and foraging behaviour, too. Some suggest that the two species (Western Reef Heron and Little Egret) hybridise.

A flock of Western Reef-Herons, also known as Western Reef-Egrets, was sighted at Sagara Sangamam, an estuary of Krishna. The medium-sized heron is often confused for the relatively rare Dark Morph Little Egret.

Found in Africa

The Western Reef-Heron is usually found on the coasts in tropical West Africa, the exotic Red Sea and the Persian Gulf right up to India. It is vagrant in North and South Americas and the Caribbean Islands.

The bird, which has the IUCN conservation status of ‘Least Concern’ are found in two plumage forms - a slaty-grey plumage in which it can be easily confused for the Dark Morph Little Egret and a white form, which is also similar to the Little Egret although the bill tends to be paler and larger.

The birds differ in size, structure and foraging behaviour, too.

Some suggest that the two species (Western Reef Heron and Little Egret) hybridise. And, based on this, the Reef Heron is also treated as a sub-species of the Little Egret. The Reef Herons had been sighted and recorded (photographed) earlier in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary.

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