Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Butorides striatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Ardeidae
Genus:Butorides
Species:B. striatus
Common Names:Striated Heron, Little Heron, Green-backed Heron, Mangrove Heron, Heron, Pucung Keladi, Pucung Bakau
Status:Common resident and rare winter visitor

Locality Map

General Biology

A Striated Heron was seen at the Singapore Botanical Gardens picking up pieces of bread that people fed the fish with to use them as bait for its own use. The heron dropped the bread into the water to wait for a suitable sized fish toappear when it lunged at it. When a large fish appeared and ate the fish, the heron would seek out another piece of bread.

The Striated Heron can be aggressive when defending its feeding ground, as seen when it chased away a kingfisher. However, when confronted by a large Oriental Pied Hornbill intent on stealing her eggs, it could only stand helplessly with neck and head feathers raised.

The middle and longest toe has a comb-like structure at the side of the claw. Known as the pectinate claw, it is a preening tool. An image of the bird showing the uropygial or preen gland, can be viewed HERE.

Diet

Feeds on fish, bullfrog (although it failed when the frog inflated itself), sea slaters (Ligia sp.)

Life Cycle

Nests are built in trees near water where a clutch of 3 eggs are laid. Both adults incubate and brood the chicks. A clutch of 2-5 eggs takes 19-25 days of incubation before hatching; and the chicks take about 5 weeks to fledge (Martinez-Vilalta & Motis 1992). Chicks have been known to wander off the nest before they are ready to fledge, sometimes falling off the tree. One chick was actually picked and looked after until it was ready to be released (Wee & Wang, 2009). However, whether we should pick up the fallen chick to look after it or keep it safe from stray cats and dogs around the spot where it is found to allow the adults to locate, is controversial.

References

Martinez-Vilalta, A. & A. Motis 1992. Family Ardeidae (Herons)]. In del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 1. Ostrich to ducks. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 376-429.

Wee, Y. C. & L. K. Wang 2009. Observations on the in-captivity development of a rescued chick of the striated heron, Butorides striatus (Linnaeus). Nature in Singapore 2: 193-202.

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