Indian Paddy Bird

Dear Students

On this day, the world goes a-birding! Yes, Global Day for ornithologists (bird-watchers)! So, let’s do the same.

This bird is frequently seen near our school campus. It is the Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii) or paddy bird.

Indian_Pond_Heron_in_Sri_Lanka

Have you noticed it in the rice paddy fields adjacent to our school campus? You need sharp eyes to spot this heron, as it’s brownish white colours camouflage it completely with the background.

pond heron camouflage

When it flies off, however, its white wings can be clearly seen in contrast.

Indian_Pond_Heron_I_IMG_1098

They eat tiny shrimps, insects, tadpoles, worms, crabs and fish. The beak is a useful tool for catching such small and slippery prey.

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A pair of pond herons always build a nest in the thorn tree beside the canal-bridge on the approach road to our school. Just before monsoon, look out for the pair, because usually, these birds select the same site for nesting every season, if they are not disturbed. The female heron lays around five eggs at a time, which take nearly a month to hatch. Both parents look after the chicks, feeding and protecting them.

nest1

Now that you know more about this bird, let me know in Comments when you next see a pond heron near on your way to DPS Tapi.

For more on this, join the DPS Birders

Sanjukta Sivakumar

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