Goliath Heron ( Ardea goliath, family: Ardeidae)

goliath heron Kruger National Park birds The Goliath Heron (Latin name Ardea goliath) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 64 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 590 also a picture of the Goliath Heron on page 592. The Goliath Heron belongs to the family of birds classified as Ardeidae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Goliath Heron is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Goliath Heron in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Goliath Heron : see above distribution map.

The Goliath Heron.

Goliath Heron Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Goliath Heron is a large bird very much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the Goliath Heron is about 135 cms and its weight is about 4300 gms

The male and female Goliath Heron have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is chestnut.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is chestnut.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has long legs.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Goliath Heron feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Goliath Heron is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Ardea goliath will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Goliath Heron is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub or on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 2 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Goliath Heron are: wetlands and riverine areas

You can see Goliath Heron in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... uNozalizingwenyana

Afrikaans ...Reusereier

German ... Goliathreiher

Portuguese ... Gara-gigante

French ... Hron goliath

Dutch ... Goliathreiger, Reuzenreiger

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 64

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za