Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

                                                  Purple Heron (subspecies A. p. purpureaat Arrocampo, Spain - April 2016

Local Name (Spain): Garza Imperial - ("Imperial Heron")
Featured Subspecies: Ardea purpurea purpurea
Weight: 0.5-1.35kg
Length: 88-94cm
Wingspan: 120-152cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The closest relation of the Grey Heron in Europe, the Purple Heron is however far more localised and secretive that it's grey cousin; a species of reed-beds found primarily in Mediterranean countries in Europe.  It is another widely distributed species however, found in addition to Southern Europe across India, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  This is one of those species where the name doesn't necessarily make that much sense when examined; while there is a sort of purple quality to it if you squint at it, the more general impression is one of a coppery-orange and grey.

Related Species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Subspecies: A. p. purpurea, A. p. bournei, A. p. madagascariensis, A. p. manilensis

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Widespread but local Resident
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Seen at Navaseca (2 individuals flying into reeds), Arrocampo (numerous) and Rivas Vaciamadrid (2 birds)

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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