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White-faced Heron


White-faced Heron


Egretta novaehollandiae


The White-faced Heron is a small pale grey heron with a white face and yellow legs. The white face extends to just behind the eye and onto the throat. The dark bill is paler at the base and is well suited to catching small fish. During the breeding season the bird develops long plumes on the nape, mantle and back; and short pale chestnut plumes on the lower neck and breast.

In flight they are stately and sometimes extend their necks briefly. They are not migratory and can be found all year round.

White-faced Herons can be found in many diverse and widespread habitats throughout the country. They feed in shallow wetlands, margins of swamps, dams and lakes and salt and brackish estuaries. In these places, they prey mainly on fish, amphibians, crustaceans and other invertebrates. Other feeding habitats include damp or flooded pastures, golf courses and garden fishponds.

Nesting takes place in single pairs or rarely in small colonies from September to December. The flimsy stick nest is a rough platform built in a tall tree often well away from water. The birds lay three to five eggs and both male and female share the incubation duties. The young birds leave the nest after about forty five days.

You should be able to see these herons feeding around the edges of the ponds in Centennial Park or looking for grasshoppers on the playing fields.

Introduce the kids to WILD PLAY!

City kids have a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature in the Ian Potter Children's WILD PLAY Garden.

Take a self-guided walk in the Park!

Download a self-guided walking tour app to discover the history of Centennial Park while you're birding.

Meet up with other bird watchers

Visit Birding NSW's site to learn about outings, competitions and other bird watching activities in Sydney.