The purple heron (Ardea purpurea) is a wide ranging species of wading bird in the heron family, Ardeidae. It is similar in appearance to the more common grey heron but is slightly smaller, more slender and has darker plumage. It is also a more evasive bird, favouring densely vegetated habitats near water, particularly reed beds. It hunts for a range of prey including fish, rodents, frogs and insects, either stalking them or standing waiting in ambush.
Photographs captured at Thalawathugoda Wetland Parks, Sri Lanka.