Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Length: 55-66 cm. Plumage: white or blackish with white chin; two long narrow plumes on occiput, scapular aigrettes and long lanceolate feathers on breast. Immature dark morph lighter grey than adult. Bare parts: iris pale yellow; facial skin yellow; bill heavy and deep and appears to droop, yellow, pinkish brown, horn brown, or brownish olive; feet and legs olive brown or dark olive in white morph, dark brown or brownish olive in dark morph. Habitat: coastal reefs, mangroves, estuaries, and creeks. <388><391>
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Description

Length: 55-66 cm. Plumage: white or blackish with white chin; two long narrow plumes on occiput, scapular aigrettes and long lanceolate feathers on breast. Immature dark morph lighter grey than adult. Bare parts: iris pale yellow; facial skin yellow; bill heavy and deep and appears to droop, yellow, pinkish brown, horn brown, or brownish olive; feet and legs olive brown or dark olive in white morph, dark brown or brownish olive in dark morph. Habitat: coastal reefs, mangroves, estuaries, and creeks. <388><391>
  • Brown, L.H., E.K. Urban & K. Newman (1982). The Birds of Africa, Volume I. Academic Press, London.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour There is little known about the movements of this species (Hancock and Kushlan 1984, Kushlan and Hancock 2005), although it apparently disperses widely (Hancock and Kushlan 1984, del Hoyo et al. 1992, Kushlan and Hancock 2005) and may be partially migratory (Hancock and Kushlan 1984, Kushlan and Hancock 2005). It breeds between April and July or in October (del Hoyo et al. 1992) in solitary pairs, or more usually in small colonies of around 12 pairs (sometimes up to 100) (Brown et al. 1982). When not breeding the species is a solitary feeder, although it is occasionally found in small groups (Brown et al. 1982). It feeds diurnally, but also at night depending on the tides, and roosts at night in large numbers of between 500 and 1,000, in mangroves or on rocky cliffs and islets (Brown et al. 1982). Habitat The species shows a preference for rocky or sandy shores and reefs (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1992, Kushlan and Hancock 2005), but will also frequent other coastal habitats such as estuaries, mudflats, saltmarshes, mangroves, tidal creeks (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1992) and lagoons (Brown et al. 1982). Diet The diet of this species consists mainly of fish, crustaceans and molluscs, but crickets, grubs and earthworms are also taken (Brown et al. 1982). Breeding site The species nests in solitary pairs or small colonies on the ground, or in reedbeds, bushes and mangrove trees up to 20 m high, as well as on ledges or boulders (del Hoyo et al. 1992), the nest being a platform of twigs and seaweed (Brown et al. 1982).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Source: IUCN

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

History
  • Not Recognized (NR)
  • Not Recognized (NR)
  • Not Recognized (NR)
  • Not Recognized (NR)
  • Not Recognized (NR)
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Status in Egypt

Resident breeder.

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Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Population

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
This species wasseriously persecuted and hunted for the plume trade in the past, but has since recovered (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
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