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Species Guide
A photo of a Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa)
Javan Pond Heron

Javan Pond Heron

Ardeola speciosa

The Javan pond heron, Ardeola speciosa, is a modestly sized wading bird, measuring approximately 45 cm in length. It boasts a striking plumage with white wings and a contrasting yellow bill tipped in black. During the breeding season, its plumage transforms, displaying a vivid tapestry of orange, slaty grey, and white. Outside of this period, its feathers adopt a more subdued brown, flecked with white, making it a master of camouflage.

Identification Tips

To identify the Javan pond heron, look for its distinctive yellow bill with a black tip and matching yellow eyes and legs. The breeding plumage is particularly notable for its bright orange hues. However, when not breeding, it can be easily confused with the Chinese and Indian pond herons due to its similar brown and white-speckled feathers.


This species is commonly found in the shallow waters of both fresh and salt-water wetlands across Southeast Asia, where it can wade and forage with ease.


The Javan pond heron is a native resident of Southeast Asia, with a migratory pattern that takes it to various locations within the region.


The Javan pond heron exhibits typical heron behavior, wading through wetlands in search of food. It is known to migrate, although the specifics of its movements are less documented.


Breeding season for the Javan pond heron occurs from June to September, during which its plumage undergoes a dramatic change to attract mates.

Diet and Feeding

A versatile forager, the Javan pond heron's diet consists of insects, fish, and crabs, which it skillfully hunts in its wetland habitat.

Conservation status

The Javan pond heron is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, indicating a stable population throughout its range.

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Javan Pond Herons on Birda


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