Chinese Pond Heron

Chinese pond heron (Ardeola bacchus).

Nonbreeding adults have golden-brown streaked heads, yellow eyes and lores (area in front of the eye towards the bill), olive-brown backs, white bellies, and yellow legs. 

Breeding Male Chinese Pond Herons are easily identifiable because of their unique coloring. Their heads, throats, and chest are wine-red with a long, thin crest extending from the back of the head to the base of the nape. 

  • Ardeola bacchus
  • Length: 16 – 20 in (40 – 50 cm)
  • Weight: 10.8 – 12 oz (306 – 340 g) 
  • Wingspan: 30 – 40 in (80 – 100 cm)


Chinese Pond Heron belongs to the Pond Heron family from East Asia, but they are recognized as vagrants in North America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Chinese Pond Herons in rice fields and shallow aquatic wetlands like marshes, swamps, mangroves, streams, and tidal pools. 

Chinese Pond Herons usually eat fish, insects, crustaceans, frogs, and other small aquatic creatures. They forage for food by standing still and striking when prey comes their way. They can also walk very slowly and pick up their food from the ground.

Chinese Pond Heron Call:


Nests of Chinese Pond Herons are built in colonies and placed high at the top of trees. They are made of small sticks lined with leaves and grass.

The female lays three to six eggs, and both parents incubate them for about twenty days. 

Fun Fact:

The first recorded occurrence of this bird in the United States was on Saint Paul Island, Alaska, in August 1997.