White-necked Heron

Listen to audio

Habitat: Wetland, Marine, Grassland


Although White-necked Herons are sometimes seen in tidal areas, most are found in shallow fresh waters, including farm dams, flooded pastures, claypans, and even roadside ditches.


Like other herons, the White-necked Heron has a special hinge mechanism at the sixth vertebra that allows them to rapidly extend its folded neck and so catch unwary prey. White-necked Herons have regular winter or spring movements in many areas, but little is known of their patterns of movement.


White-necked Herons feed by wading in shallow water or stalking through wet grass looking for fish, amphibians, crustaceans and insects.


White-necked Herons will breed in any month of the year in response to good rain, but most breeding occurs between September and December. The nest is a loose platform in a living tree such as a river red gum near or over water. The nests may be solitary or in loose colonies. Eggs are incubated by both parents.