Black Heron ( Egretta ardesiaca, family: Ardeidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Black Egret

black heron kruger national park The Black Heron (Latin name Egretta ardesiaca) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 69 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 582 also a picture of the Black Heron on page 577. The Black Heron belongs to the family of birds classified as Ardeidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Black Heron was called the Black Egret

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 Black Heron is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

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

Kruger Park Black HeronIdentification 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 Black Heron is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the Black Heron is about 66 cms and its weight is about 310 gms

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

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

This bird has long legs.

Main diet items for this bird ...

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


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Black Heron is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Egretta ardesiaca will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Black Heron is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 3 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

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

You will normally see the Black Heron in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iKuwela

Afrikaans ...Swartreier

German ... Glockenreiher

Portuguese ... Gara-preta

French ... Aigrette ardoise

Dutch ... Zwarte Reiger

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 69

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 ,