Head Plumes of the Javan Pond-heron

on 14th April 2014

“This season, at least two Javan Pond-herons (Ardeola speciosa) were spotted at the usual place at Lorong Halus. The Javan Pond-heron can only be positively identified when it assume its breeding plumage (below). Noted that these birds were assuming breeding plumage at different times with one seen assuming breeding plumage as early as end January.

“At beginning of March, one of the birds had developed short white-coloured head plumes. These head plumes were not seen during the initial period of its breeding plumage (below left).

“Interestingly, while observing this bird, it revealed something that is not well known about its head plumes. I’ve read some literature stating that there are 2 white head plumes for this species. However, there were more head plumes shown by this individual. The images illustrate the same bird – first showing a single head plume (above right), then there was double (below left), then triple (below right).

“Finally, four obvious head plumes could be counted behind its head (below)!

“For comparison, another image, taken separately in end March 2012, show obviously longer head plumes of a bird in a more advance stage of its breeding plumage (below).”

Kwong Wai Chong
27th March 2014

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.

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