Heron (White Faced) Egretta novaehollandiae
Binomial name: Egretta novaehollandiae
Synonym: Ardea novaehollandiae,Andea novohollandiae novohollandiae
Common name: White Faced Heron, Blue Heron.
An Australian immigrant which began breeding in New Zealand only in the 1940s,has become the most populous heron. The adult of the White-faced Heron is relatively small and is pale blue-grey. The adult typically weighs 550 gm and ranges from 60–70 cm in height . The forehead, crown, chin and upper throat are white. The crown pattern is variable, with the white occasionally spreading down the neck. During the breeding season pinkish-brown or bronze nuptial plumes appear on the foreneck and breast, with blue-grey plumes appearing on the back. They are adaptable birds, they are equally at home along the coast or inland. White-faced Herons eat most small aquatic creatures and their varied diet is fish, frogs, small reptiles and insects.
Like other herons, male and female white-faced herons share in the raising of their young. They build the nest together, usually high in trees, and take turns to incubate the eggs and feed the nestlings. Breeding takes place any time between June and October, and from the three to five pale blue-green eggs, usually only two young survive.. White-faced heron fledglings leave the nest at six weeks.