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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 World Assessment

Habitats Wetland Thickets
Presence In Israel Migrant
Nesting In Israel Occasional Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoography Zones Mediterranean
Landscape Formations Wetland Thickets, Wetlands
Vegetation Formations Wetland Thickets
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 in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Acrocephalus melanopogon
Hippolais pallida
Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Acrocephalus stentoreus