Black HeronStudy With Safari Guides in Botswana
What safari guides should know:
The black heron is without doubt one of the most interesting birds for field guides to get their guests fascinated by the behaviour our avian wildlife. On our wildlife and ecology courses we study the different feeding behaviours and fascinating adaptations of birds. The black heron uses a technique of creating an “umbrella” with its wings with its head tucked in beneath the canopy. Fish that stray beneath the umbrella are snatched up and swallowed.
Scientists still debate the reason for the canopy. The two most regarded theories are getting rid of the reflected light off the water and creating shade/shelter to lure the fish into. This is an instinctive behaviour and a captive birds that have never seen it done before will automatically do this when feeding.
Similar to the slaty egret that is common in the Okavango but lacks the “wine-stain” down the throat and is slightly darker in colour and more compact than the slaty egret. Perched and in flight the bright yellow feet and black legs are diagnostic.
Distribution in Botswana:
Common nomadic resident in the Okavango, Linyanti and Chobe and sporadic through the east and south-east of Botswana.FGASA Level 1 Course Specialist Birding Course