The squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides) is a small heron, 44?47 cm (17?19 in) long, of which the body is 20?23 cm (7.9?9.1 in), with 80?92 cm (31?36 in) wingspan. This is a stocky species with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed in flight, when it looks very white due to the colour of the wings.

Habitat and Distribution

The squacco heron is a migrant, breeding in southern Europe and the Greater Middle East and wintering in Africa. It is rare north of its breeding range. The squacco heron's breeding habitat is marshy wetlands in warm countries.


They feed on fish, frogs and insects.


The birds nest in small colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. Three to four eggs are laid.