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Acrocephalus griseldis

warning Not applicable

The Purple Heron is classified as Vulnerable (VU) due to its small population (less than 250 mature individuals). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as near threatened (NT). The change in the threat category reflects a decline in the population and breeding range, as well as improvement in the quality of the data and differences in assessment methods.
NA Current Regional Assessment | NA Previous Regional Assessment | EN Global Assessment

Habitats Wetland Thickets
Presence In Israel Migrant
Breeding In Israel Irregular Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoographical Zones Mediterranean
Landscape Types Wetlands, Wetland Thickets
Vegetation Types Marsh and Riparian
Vegetation Densities Medium, High
Nest Locations Wetland Thickets
Diet Types Invertebrate
Foraging Grounds Trees and Shrubs
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Wetland Drainage & Pollution

The Purple Heron is a large, long-legged, long-necked heron, with a purplish plumage, reddish brown head and neck and a white throat streaked with black. The juvenile is paler with a browner general color. It resembles the Grey Heron in size and shape, but its color is warmer and browner, and it is smaller, slenderer and more delicate.

The Purple Heron is a colonial breeder whose breeding population in Israel is extremely small. A larger population migrates through the country in spring and autumn. The major breeding concentrations are found around Sea of Galilee and in the Hula Reserve (about 20 pairs at each site) and isolated pairs nest sporadically in the southern Golan Heights, the Hula and Northern valleys and the northern Coastal Plain (although more extensive surveys are needed). The colonies in Sea of Galilee and the Hula have not declined significantly in recent decades, but nesting in the Jezreel and Acre valleys and the Carmel coast has decreased and, in some cases, ceased completely. In the past, the species nested in much higher numbers, but the population declined because of marsh drainage and excessive use of agricultural pesticides.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel from the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and breeding density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values in the current decade as determined from experts' opinion and observations from databases.

Relative Abundance 2010-2020 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
8 12 12 21 19

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Density values based primarily on the book The Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Relative Abundance 1980-1990 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
5 14 14 17 22

Occupancy 1990-2020

The map shows differences in the species breeding distribution between the 1980's breeding map and the current weighted breeding evaluation. Negative value - species previously bred in the grid and is not presently breeding; positive value - species has not previously bred in the grid and is currently breeding.

Occupancy 1990-2020
Data Missing No Change Occupancy Increase Occupancy Decrease
6 35 1 9

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020

The map shows the changes in the relative abundance of a species in each of the distribution grids between the breeding map of the 1980s and the weighted current breeding evaluation. Negative values - decline in abundance; positive values - increase in abundance; zero - no change in abundance.

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020
80 to 100 50 20 to 30 No Change 30- to 20- 50- 100- to 80- Data Missing
0 4 2 22 12 14 11 16

Red number
IUCN category
Threat Definition according to the red book
() districts
% of protected sites

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