Squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides). Quite pleased with the way this photo turned out. Nice, flat water to give a clear reflection.
This heron’s name is from its bird call, which is literally a squawk.
The squacco heron feeds mainly on larval insects, but can supplement its diet with small fish, amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and, under exceptional circumstances, even small birds. It prefers to feed alone or in small groups of two to five individuals, although during periods of food scarcity, such as during migration and in winter, groups of up to 20 feeding individuals can form. The squacco heron is mainly active at sunrise and sunset, sleeping during the day and night in large sheltered groups.
Sometimes when I look at a bird — my immense joy to be working with these animals is met with a profound sadness. Each year that goes by we lose more and more of these precious animals — and it is not limited to birds. Our actions as humans are causing destruction amongst this world, and we need to hold ourselves accountable. We need to change. For birds — we can do a lot. We can not prune our trees and shrubs in the spring so we do not destroy their nests, we can put up reflectors on our windows so they don’t fly into them as well as turn off all our lights at nighttime, and most importantly we can keep our cats indoors, as millions of birds in the USA are killed each year by pet cats alone. We have done so much harm, but we have he potential to do so much good. What’s stopping you?