Working for birds in Africa

First record and nesting of White-crested Tiger-Heron in The Gambia

p 105-106

On 16 November 1996, members of an Ornitholidays tour to The Gambia observed two adult and a juvenile White-crested Tiger-Heron Tirgriornis leucolophus in the Lower River Division. The birds were in narrow, mangrove-bordered creeks leading into the Gambia river. The first was seen standing amongst the mangrove roots on mud exposed by the receding tide but soon walked off and was lost to sight in the dense vegetation. In another creek at least 400 m distant, we found a second bird, which to our amazement was on a nest. It was seen only briefly before creeping away between the branches. The nest was a shallow platform of loosely woven twigs situated c 2m above the high-water level on a branch of Red Mangrove Rhizophora sp overhanging the creek. It was estimated to be c 40cm in diameter and 10cm deep and contained a single juvenile covered in white down, which was considered to be approximately one week old. When left exposed on the nest, the juvenile adopted a typical 'bittern' posture with extended neck and bill pointing skyward. The nest was photographed and we then withdrew to allow the adult to return.

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