Purple Heron Ardea purpurea   [Linnaeus, 1766]

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Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ardeidae
BTO Codes: UR, PURHE EURING No: 1240
Number in Britain: 20 records/year
Conservation Status:
UK: Not Assessed
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Declining
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Passage Visitor
Subspecies: purpurea recorded in Britain (of 3 subsp. in the world)
Length: 84 cm Wingspan: 135 cm Weight: M/F: 870 g    
Scientific name from: L.: ardea=a heron and Gr.: porphoreos=purple
World Distribution: local in s&ec Europe, c&s Asia to Malaysia and Africa
Habitat: Lakes, marshes, rivers, flooded fields
Diet: Mostly fish and insects, but wide variety, mostly feeds at dusk/dawn
Identification Tips:
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Records and Distribution

First Record: Middlesex, 1722 (Palmer. P 2000. First for Britain & Ireland, Arlequin Press. [502.74 PAL])
Summary of Annual Totals
Distribution by County

Other Names

Gaelic: Welsh: Crëyr Porffor
Danish: Purpurhejre Dutch: Purpurreiger
Finnish: Ruskohaikara French: Héron pourpré
German: Purpurreiher Hungarian: Vörös gém
Icelandic: Rauðhegri Irish: Corr Chorcra
Italian: Airone rosso Norwegian: Purpurhegre
Polish: Czapla purpurowa Portuguese: Garça-vermelha
Spanish: Garza imperial Swedish: Purpurhäger

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Voisin, C. 1991 The herons of Europe Poyser, London [598.461 VOI]
   Kushlan, J.A. & Hancock, J. 2005 The Herons Oxford University Press [598.461 KUS]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)