Pacific Reef Heron
solitary wild heron
|Pacific Reef Heron
|west of Boso Peninsula, south of Oga Peninsula
A medium-sized heron with a gray color close to black. Depending on how the light hits it, it may look dark blue. There is a black type whose whole body is blackish and a white type whose whole body is white. The white type is common in the Nansei Islands, and most of the individuals seen north of Kyushu are the black type. The legs are yellow and firm. The beak color varies depending on the individual, and some are greenish or brownish.
Inhabits rocky coastal areas. It walks on rocks and catches and eats fish and crustaceans. It flies low near the sea surface and moves from rocky place to rocky place. Unlike the Great Egret and the Little Egret, they do not move in groups and often live alone. It has a strong sense of territory and drives away other individuals when they approach.
This photo was taken along the coast of Arasaki on the Miura Peninsula. From the Arasaki Observatory, I spotted them looking for prey on the beach, then walked around the rocky areas looking for black herons. It's easy to spot from above, but once you get down to the rocky shore, it's hard to find a black heron eating under the rocks. They are very cautious and will run away as soon as they are seen, even from a great distance. The Arasaki area seems to be the territory of that individual, and even after walking halfway around Arasaki for about an hour, no other individuals were seen.
Introducing a picture of Pacific Reef Heron.