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Herons bird in Africa



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This is the world’s largest heron. The height is 120–152 cm (47–60 in), the wingspan is 185–230 cm (73–91 in) and the weight is 4–5 kg (8.8–11 lbs). Among standard measurements

Herons bird in Africa Description

This is the world’s largest heron. The height is 120–152 cm (47–60 in), the wingspan is 185–230 cm (73–91 in) and the weight is 4–5 kg (8.8–11 lbs). Among standard measurements, the tarsus measures from 21.2 to 25.5 cm (8.3 to 10.0 in) and the wing chord averages around 60.7 cm (23.9 in) in length. The culmen  measures from 18 to 20 cm (7.1 to 7.9 in), while the bill from the gape measures around 24 cm (9.4 in). In flight it has a slow and rather ponderous look and, unlike some other herons, its legs are not held horizontally.

Behaviour

In Africa, African Fish Eagles frequently pirate food caught by Goliaths, although other large birds such as Saddle-billed Storks and pelicans may also steal their prey.Of course, prey almost entirely consists of fish. Breams, mullet, tilapia and carp have locally been recorded as preferred species. Any other small animals that they come across may be eaten, including frogs, prawns, small mammals, lizards, snakes, insects and even carrion.

Breeding

Its breeding season coincides generally with the start of the rainy season, which is around November to March. The nests are large but often flimsy (depending on available vegetation around the nesting site), often measuring around 1 to 1.5 m (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in diameter.

Eggs are pale blue, averaging 72 mm (2.8 in) by 54 mm (2.1 in) and weighing around 108 g (3.8 oz). The clutch size can range from 2 to 5 (usually 3 or 4). Incubation lasts 24 to 30 days. Although they can sometimes replace clutches, often only around 25% of eggs succeed in hatching due to various environmental conditions or predation. The young are fed by regurgitation in the nest and, after a few weeks, can bill jab and practice defensive postures against each other. At around five weeks they leave the nest completely. The parents continue to tend to them for variously 40 to 80 days. Around 62% of fledgings who successfully leave the nest survive to adulthood. Locally, the White-tailed Eagle and the African Fish Eagle may be a predator at colonies. Due its size and formidable bill, the full-grown Goliath Heron may not have any regular avian predators. Despite their ponderous movements, Goliath Herons can think quickly and often take flight before mammalian carnivores (such as hyenas or jackals) can predate them.

 


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