068 Squacco Heron
(Ardeola ralloides )


40-49cm. The Squacco Heron is a relatively bulky, long-necked heron. It has streaked head and neck and it has pale yellow plumage, with long streaked plumes on its nape. When it takes flight its white wings, rump and tail can be observed. Its bill is blue-grey with black tip. Legs are yellowish-pink (briefly coral-red during courtship)


In Hungary breeds regularly in mixed species heronries of floodplain forests and of marshes with scattered bushes. Breeds mostly along the River Tisza and Körös riverbranches, Hortobágy, Kiskunság and Kis-Balaton. Migrant. Recorded on spring migration in mid-April and leaves Hungary during mid-September, but occasional occurences have been recorded in November and March as well.

068 Squacco Heron pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008