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Green-backed Heron

Afrikaans name: Groenrugreier

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Back view of a Green-backed Heron

Photo © Steven Herbert

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Green-backed Heron

Green-backed Heron

Photo © Steven Herbert

Butorides striatus

The Green-backed Heron is a small heron weighing only around 200 grams and having a length of about 40 cm.

In South Africa their distribution is mainly confined to the northern and southern regions of the country. They can be found near virtually any inland water habitat that is lined with dense vegetation.

The Green-backed Heron is a shy species and is often overlooked as it sits quietly in the vegetation. They do most of their hunting during the day.

They feed on a variety of animals that can be found in or near the water. These include fish, frogs, insects, small reptiles and spiders.

The pair builds a nest made of twigs and reeds usually a few metres off the ground. Sometimes it is made above the water. Between 2 and 5 eggs are laid and the eggs and young are tended to by both parents.

Green-backed Heron amongst the reeds

Green-backed Heron skulking in the reeds

Photo © Steven Herbert

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