White-faced Heron

Egretta novaehollandiae

(Birds of Drouin booklet P72)


Size: 65-70cm

Sexes are similar. A familiar heron with a two-tone grey body, white face and throat, yellow legs.


Generally silent but emits occasional grunts.


Widespread throughout except for the very driest parts.

Map credit: ala.org.au


Can breed year-round at times but mostly over summer. Builds a stick platform-nest high in a tree preferably but not always near a water body.


Can be found in fresh and saline water bodies – dams, lakes, billabongs, estuaries, mud flats, sewerage ponds, etc. Often seen in pastures, playing fields and even front lawns of houses. Their prey consists mostly of crustaceans, fish, insects, spiders, snails and worms. Outside of breeding times, White-faced Herons can exist in large flocks. Common, abundant, mostly sedentary but nomadic in dry times.