About Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) Danube Delta
The squacco heron (Ardeolaralloides) is a relatively small bird and it is a refined and elegant presence in the Danube’s Delta. The plumage of this heron is a mixture of yellows and beiges. The ventral side of the bird is white and due to this fact, during flight, this bird seems to be white.
It is a migratory species and it travels in small flocks. It comes in the Danube’s Delta’s Biosphere Reservation during April and it leaves in September. The squacco heron nests inside mixed colonies, alongside egrets, ibises and spoonbills. It builds its nest on shrubs and willow trees and it takes 6 or 7 days to be completed. The resulting nest has a diameter of 20 to 25 cm and an approximate height of 20 cm.
During pairing season the squacco heron’s bill turns blue with shades of green, its legs turn orange and its head plumage grows longer. The female lays 3 to 6 greenish-bluish-whitish eggs with a size of 37 to 42 mm. Both parents incubate the eggs and their shift change is marked by a specific ritual. Chicks are able to fly when they are one month old and they become independent when they are one month and a half old.