Injured Purple Heron: Seven months on

on 10th June 2008

In early November 2007, Dr Chua Ee Kiam reported the presence of a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with a torn lower jaw. Three months on it was still alive and well. Now, seven months on, Ee Kiam again encountered the heron and report on its efforts at feeding.


“Managed to photograph the Purple Heron (that was injured in the neck) feeding on a catfish in SBWR on 2nd June 2008. Initially I saw the heron landing on the water edge with the catfish between its beak. It then proceeded deeper to the mangrove forest to bash the fish. After a good 5-7 minutes, it carried the fish to the water edge to wash it (above).


“It tried to swallow the fish for more than ten times but the fish fell through the throat hole (above). I was quite glad that it finally managed to swallow the fish whole (below). Guess one has to keep trying despite the handicap. Enjoy the images.”


If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

3 Responses

  1. Some years ago I spotted an injured Great Blue Heron. Her wing was almost completely broken off – only bones dragging. She not only lived through the year, she raised three young. However, I don’t think she made it through the winter as I didn’t find her the next spring. The winters in Tulsa, OK are a bit harsh for herons, although a few winter over. It probably proved too much for her.

    Photos of her here:
    Not for the squeamish

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