Purple Heron

Purple Heron, Purperreiger, Purpurreiher, Garça-Roza, Garza Imperial

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                             Purple Heron sound

The Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, and southern and eastern Asia. The European populations are migratory, wintering in tropical Africa; the more northerly Asian populations also migrate further south within Asia. It is a rare but regular wanderer north of its breeding range.

Purple Heron, Purperreiger, Purpurreiher, Garça-Roza, Garza Imperial

The Purple Heron is a large bird, 80-90 cm tall, with a 120-150 cm wingspan, but slender for its size, weighing only 0.5-1.3 kg. It is somewhat smaller than the Grey Heron, from which it can be distinguished by its darker reddish-brown plumage, and, in adults, darker grey back. It has a narrower yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults.

The Purple Heron breeds in colonies in reed beds or trees close to large lakes or other extensive wetlands. It builds a bulky stick nest.

It feeds in shallow water, spearing fish, frogs, insects, small mammals, reptiles and small birds. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim. It tends to keep within reedbeds more than the Grey Heron, and is often inconspicuous, despite its size.

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Rooireier
Asturian: Garcia Roxa
Breton: Ar gerc’heiz ruz
Catalan: Agró roig
Catalan (Balears): Agró roig
Cebuano: dugwak
Welsh: Crëyr porffor
Danish: Purpurhejre
German: Purpurreiher, Purpurreiher-purpurea
English: Cape Verde Heron, North-western Purple Heron, Purple Heron
Esperanto: Purpura ardeo
Spanish: Garza Imperial
Estonian: Purpurhaigur
Basque: Agró roig
Finnish: Ruskohaikara
Faroese: Korkahegri
French: Héron pourpré
Irish: Corr Chorcra
Galician: Agró roig
Hindi: Peria vellai kokku
Croatian: Caplja Danguba
Hungarian: Vörös gém
Indonesian: Cangak Merah, Cangkak merah
Icelandic: Rauðhegri
Italian: Airone rosso
Japanese: murasakisagi, Murasaki-sagi
Kwangali: Samunkoma Gomugeha
Latin: Ardea purpurea, Ardea purpurea bournei, Ardea purpurea purpurea
Lithuanian: Purpurinis garnys
Malagasy: Kehambe, Langorofalafa, Langorovoanga, Vagna, Vanga, vano, Vanomena
Mamasa: korong ula
Malay: Bangau Paya, Pucung Serandau
Dutch: Purperreiger, Purpurreiger
Norwegian: Purpurhegre
Polish: czapla purpurowa
Portuguese: garça imperial, Garça-imperial, garça-roxa, Garça-vermelha, Vermelha, vermelha.
Portuguese (Brazil): garça-roxa
Romansh: irun cotschen
Northern Sami: Purporháigir
Slovak: Volavka purpurová
Slovenian: rjava caplja, rjavacaplja
Albanian: Çapka rrudhi
Serbian: crvena caplja
Sotho, Southern: Kokolofitoe
Swedish: Purpurhäger
Swahili: Pondagundi
Tswana: Kôkôlôhutwê
Tsonga: Rikolwa
Xhosa: Ucofuza


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders guided birdwatching Tours and Trips.

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Guided Birdwatching in the Alentejo region of Portugal