Adult Little Heron attacking juvenile

on 13th September 2013

At about 0915 hours on 31st August 2013, Mendis Tan documented an adult Little Heron (Butorides striatus) attacking a juvenile at a canal in Hougang Avenue 7, Singapore.

In the beginning of the video clip, the adult had its mandibles clamped on the head of the juvenile and trying, without success, to pull it out of the water (top) – or so it appears. It subsequently repeatedly pecked at the head as well as trying to pull the juvenile up, again with success.

According to Mendis, “The adult attacked the juvenile each time it moved. And after about 15mins, the juvenile was motionless in the water. Clearly it was an attack.”

Mendis Tan
September 2013

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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

2 Responses

  1. Wow! This adult is a real bully to pick on a juvenile. And quite a vicious assault.

    I have often seen them chasing each other for territory, but never witness any real physical assault. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Territorial disputes do become very vicious, not only among people. An adult male White Breasted Waterhen has been dominant in my garden for the past couple of years. Other waterhens breed in the canals and grassland nearby, and displaced juveniles fan out to seek territories of their own. This dominant male has been quite merciless in the way he beats up any young bird that dares to stray into HIS territory.

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