Reef heron

Matuku moana | Egretta sacra | Egretta sacra sacra

The boulder reefs that dominate the Taranaki coastline provide ideal habitat for reef herons.

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NZ Threat Classification: Nationally endangered.

NZ Population: Only 300 to 500 birds.

Habitat: Rocky shoreline and estuaries.

Food: Small fish, crustaceans and worms. 

Nest: September to December. 

Main threats: Coastal development and disturbance by people/dogs. 

ID Tip: Looks like white-faced heron. Reef heron has yellow eyes and bill. White-faced heron has a white face (adult) and black eyes and bill. 

More info:

Reef Heron Sightings

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Click the map below to view sightings

Interesting Observations

The Project Hotspot team has discovered that individual reef herons can be identified by their distinctive leg markings. As a result, nine different reef herons have been identified in Taranaki to date and we have been able to track their movements around the Taranaki coastline.