basic information

Indian Pond Heron

Ardeola grayii (Sykes, 1832)

Индийская прудовая цапля | Үндi құтаны

Sorbulak lake, Almaty oblast
© Andrey Kovalenko


The Indian Pond Heron is a small heron about 50 cm in length. It appears stocky with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed from their dull colours when they take to flight, when the white of the wings makes them very prominent. It is very similar to the Squacco Heron, Ardeola ralloides, but has darker back contrasted by the paler head. Also Indian Pond Heron in summer plumage has white plumes down the back from the neck showing as the short white central line (the Squacco Heron does not have these their plumes are coloured much like the rest of the head); and yellowish bill (the Squacco Heron in summer has greyish-blue bill). They are very silent but may give a harsh croak when flushed or near their nests.


The Indian Pond Heron breeds in southern Iran and east to India, Burma and Sri Lanka. In Kazakhstan the first and one only Indian Pond Heron was recorded on July 16 2009 in Sorbulak lake near Almaty.


The Indian Pond Herons are usually solitary foragers but numbers of them may sometimes feed in close proximity during the dry seasons when small wetlands have a high concentration of prey. They are semi-colonial breeders. They may also forage at garbage heaps. During dry seasons, they sometimes take to foraging on well watered lawns or even dry grassland. When foraging, they allow close approach and flush only at close range. They sometimes form communal roosts. Status and biology in Kazakhstan are unknown.




other names

Paddy Bird

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Birds of Northern Eurasia

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unidentified birds


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