Rufescent Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Rufescent Tiger Heron

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Ardeidae | [latin] Tigrisoma lineatum | [authority] Boddaert, 1783 | [UK] Rufescent Tiger Heron | [FR] Onore raye | [DE] Marmorreiher | [ES] Avetigre Colorada | [NL] Rosse Tijgerroerdomp


Monotypic species


The genus Tigrisoma consists of 4 Heron species native to South and Central America. These birds are rather large and typically forest dwellers. Their plumage is rich in coloration and adapted to boreal life.

Physical charateristics

The adult has a very long bill, chestnut head, chest and neck with a white stripe down the front of the neck. The immature, as shown in the third photo, is very different with broad black barring on a browny-buff base.

Listen to the sound of Rufescent Tiger Heron

[audio: Tiger Heron.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 66 cm size max.: 76 cm
incubation min.: 31 days incubation max.: 34 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 34 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Latin America : widespread


Wooded banks of slow flowing streams and rivers, marsches, swamps or mangroves.


Breeding behavior is little known. Nests quite high up in trees, although ground-nest recorded in captive birds. Nest in large platform of sticks. In captivity: 3 eggs; incubation 31-34 days, by female only; chicks have white down.

Feeding habits

Feeding occurs mostly at dusk and night and at night. Feeds by standing still and preys on fish, invertebrates, small vertebrates and insects. Sometimes feed at daytime.

Video Rufescent Tiger Heron


copyright: A. Garcia


This species has an extremely 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 has not been quantified, 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.
Present in all the regions of Brazil, guianas,Southeast Mexico, Honduras, Argentina and Uruguay. It inhabits the banks and shores of rivers and lakes with densely grown edges. This species lives generally solitary, becoming more active at dawn and during twilight. Catches its prey by walking slowly or standing completly still, in shallow waters or puddles in the interior of the forest. When disturbed, it remains immovable until flying, up to a higher save place in the trees. The nest is a platform mostly built soilitary. Not much scientific data are available on this species in the wild.
Rufescent Tiger Heron status Least Concern


Sedentary in all of its range.

Distribution map

Rufescent Tiger Heron distribution range map


Title Nesting of the Rufescent Tiger-heron Tigrisoma lineatum on Barro Colorado island (republic of Panama)
Author(s): Andrzej Dyrcz
Abstract: Lake Gatun, which was created during the

download full text (pdf)

Title Seven Nests of Rufescent Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)
Author(s): Steven Furino and Mario Garcia Quesada
Abstract: Little is known about the nesting or breeding beha..[more]..
Source: Paper of the Estacion Biologica Cano Palma

download full text (pdf)

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