|Freshwater or brackish wetlands with tall dense
stands of emergent vegetation such as reeds,
papyrus or rushes and low trees or bushes.
A platform of twigs and vegetation positioned at
least 1 m above water.
Adult and larval insects, molluscs, crustaceans and occasionally fish, amphibians, lizards, small snakes
and nestling birds.
A variety of croaks and grunts, including a
hoarse 'grrrr' made when breeding.
40 - 60 cm.
80 - 105 cm.
Breeding adults have reddish-brown bodies and
shiny bottle-green wings. Non-breeders and juveniles
have duller bodies. It has a brownish bill, dark facial
skin bordered above and below in blue-gray (non-breeding)
to cobalt blue (breeding), and red-brown legs.
Populations in temperate regions breed during the local
spring, while tropical populations nest to coincide with
the rainy season. A breeding colony has recently been
established in southern Spain, and there appears to be
a growing trend for the Spanish birds to winter in Britain