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 Purple Heron  (Ardea purpurea )


Identification: A large heron most similar to a Grey Heron but slightly skinnier and more straggly. Its narrower neck can look distinctly looped in flight and its trailing feet can resemble an untidy bunch of twigs. Its neck is also brown or chestnut rather than white or grey and its upperparts show less contrast than the Grey Heron. Adults can indeed look purply-grey on their mantle but juveniles are a sandier brown.

Habitat: Summer visitor to lakes, fishponds, deltas and coastal lagoons. Breeds in large reedbeds.

Distribution: Annual visitor, usually April-October, with highest numbers in spring. South and east coast sites offer the best opportunities. There were 560 British records up until 1990.

Commonest in large areas of reedbeds, especially around the Mediterranean. Unmissable on the Ebro Delta (Spain) and the Petit Camargue (France) for example. The best area in northern Europe is on the Nieuwkoop marshes in Holland.

Population: The European population stands at about 80,000 pairs. Russian population 40000-90000 Turkish population 2000-5000

 Source: Internet
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