790. Ardea melanocephala

790. BLACK-NECKED HERON.
ARDEA MELANOCEPHALA.
Ardea melanocephala, Vig. and Childr. in. Denh. and Clapp. Voy. ii. App. p. 201 (1826) ; Dresser, vi. p. 225, pl. 397 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvi. p. 70 ; A. atricollis, Wagl. Syst. Av. Ardea, sp. 4 (1827).
Abu el Anga, Arabic.
Male ad. (Africa). Differs from A. cinerea in having the head, pendant nuchal plumes and back of neck greyish black, the upper parts blackish plumbeous with a faint greenish lustre, the lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts slaty blue, the elongated scapular plumes hoary towards the tips ; quills and tail blackish lead grey ; chin and throat white, neck blackish grey slightly marked with white ; under parts clear grey ; upper mandible black, the under mandible and bare skin round the eye greenish yellow ; leg's and feet black ; iris light yellow. Culmen 3.0, wing 15.8, tail 6.2, tarsus 4.4 inch. Female smaller with the elongated plumes shorter. The young bird is duller and brownish grey ; head black ; hind-neck slaty grey ; under parts yellowish white, the lower neck and breast greyish washed with fawn ; throat striped with yellowish.
Hab. Africa south to the Cape Colony ; Madagascar ; a rare visitant to Algeria, Spain, and the south of France.
In habits it is said to resemble A. cinerea, and like that species it feeds on fish, but also on frogs, lizards, and locusts. It nests both on trees and on reed-beds in company with other Herons and those of the same species, and in June or July deposits 3 to 4 eggs, which resemble those of A. cinerea in colour, and measure about 2.32 by 1.72.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
790. Ardea melanocephala
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
790
Year: 
1903
Page No: 
566
Common name: 
Black Necked Heron
M_ID: 
2305
M_CN: 
Black-headed Heron
M_SN: 
Ardea melanocephala
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
10050

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