Overview

Comprehensive Description

Bare part colours brighter during courtship, with iris orange. Juvenile has head all white and white carpal patch, which is only visible in flight.

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© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Distribution

Range

Locally from New Guinea to Indonesia and n Australia.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Distribution:


    N Australia and S Sulawesi; also New Guinea, Moluccas and Tanimbar Is, where probably non breeding visitor.


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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Physical Description

Size

43-55 cm, 210-327 g

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Diagnostic Description

Bare part colours brighter during courtship, with iris orange. Juvenile has head all white and white carpal patch, which is only visible in flight.

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© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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Mainly coastal, occuring in grasland and swamps and salt or fresh water, mangroves, mudflats, sandbanks, also freshwater courses, lakes, rice fields. In NG forms feeding aggregations on recently burnt land. Sometimes feeds on dry land - Ocassionaly up to 1650 m in highlands on New Guinea.

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Dispersal

Poorly known movements. Locally common.

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Trophic Strategy

Mainly aquatic insect, with crustaceans, amphibians, small molluscs and small fish. Sometimes scavenges other waterbirds. Often feed alongside livestock. Active feeder, not infrequently capturing prey by aerial techniques. Diurnal. In NG records of solitary adults defending feeding territories.

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Reproduction

Nesting occurs during summer monsoon, mainly Feb-Apr, but sometimes Jan_jun. Generally forms large colonies up to 1200 nests, often mixed with other herons, ibises or cormorants. 2-5 m above water, 2-4 eggs. Chicks have yellowish brown to white down with dusky flanks.

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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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
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a very 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.
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Source: IUCN

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Not Threatened.

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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Population

Population Trend
Stable
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