Green-backed Heron | Butorides striata

Roberts Birding Information: Green Backed Night Heron

The Green-backed Heron is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Ardeidae bird family group which includes birds such as Egrets, Herons, Bitterns.Green Backed NightHeron

The description for the Green-backed Heron (Latin name Butorides striata) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Butorides striata can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 74 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 596. You will find a picture of the Green-backed Heron on page 577.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Butorides striatus in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Green-backed Heron is known in Afrikaans as Groenrugreier.

The Green-backed Heron has a height of 41 cms and weighs around 215 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Butorides striata has a white coloured throat, orange legs and a black, grey coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are yellow.

Bill is black.

Legs are orange.

Throat is white.

Back is black, grey.

Greenbacked Night Heron Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Greenbacked Night Heron Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Green-backed Heron is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 6 eggs and they are coloured blue, green.

The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.

The Green-backed Heron is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The Green-backed Heron is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

You can see the Green-backed Heron bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Green-backed Heron is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.