Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa)

Javan Pond Heron

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Ardeidae | [latin] Ardeola speciosa | [authority] Horsfield, 1821 | [UK] Javan Pond Heron | [FR] Crabier malais | [DE] Prachtreiher | [ES] Garcilla indonesia | [NL] Javaanse Ralreiger


Monotypic species


Ardeola is a genus of small herons, typically 40?50 cm long with 80?100 cm wingspan. Most breed in the tropical Old World, but the migratory Squacco Heron occurs in southern Europe and the Middle East and winters in Africa. These pond herons are stocky species with a short neck, short thick bill, typically buff or brownish back, and coloured or streaked foreneck and breast. In summer, adults may have long neck feathers. Ardeola herons are transformed in flight, looking very white due to the brilliant white wings.

Physical charateristics

The Javan Pond Heron is typically 45 cm long with white wings, a yellow bill with a black tip, yellow eyes and legs. Its overall colour is orange, slaty and white during mating season, and brown and flecked with white out of the mating season. The non-breeding plumage is similar to that of the Chinese and Indian Pond Herons and is virtually indistinguishable in the field.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 43 cm size max.: 47 cm
incubation min.: 18 days incubation max.: 24 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


Oriental Region : East. South-east Thailand, southern Cambodia, southern Vietnam southern Borneo, Sumatra, and Java


Usually freshwater, prefers paddyfields, flooded grasslands, lakesides and riverbanks, sometimes also mangroves and reefs.


Breeds solitary or in (mixed) small colonies. Nest is built over water in leafy tree, consisting of a small stick platform. These birds will usually build one nest and use it year after year instead of building a new nest every mating season. Lay 3-5 eggs which are incubated 18-24 days.

Feeding habits

Diet includes insects, fish and crabs

Video Javan Pond Heron


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Javan Pond Heron status Least Concern


Mainly resident, with some local movements, e.g. fairly regular in S Sumatra where not known to breed. Occasional records from Malay Peninsula.

Distribution map

Javan Pond Heron distribution range map

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