Ardeola idae (Malagasy pond-heron, Madagascar squacco heron) 

Madagaskar-ralreier, Malgassiese ralreier [Afrikaans]; Madagaskar-ralreiger [Dutch]; Crabier blanc [French]; Madagaskar-rallenreiher [German]; Garça-caranguejeira de Madagascar [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Ardeidae

Ardeola idae (Malagasy pond-heron, Madagascar squacco heron)   

Malagasy pond-heron, Ifotaka, Madagascar. [photo Adam Riley ©, Rockjumper Tours]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds in Madagascar and Aldabra, heading west in the non-breeding season to Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique. It generally favours small grassy lakes, marshes, ponds, streams and ditches.

Distribution of Malagasy pond-heron in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).

Movements and migrations

Breeds in the period from October-March, then heads south to its non-breeding grounds (which include southern Africa), where it stays from May-September.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 


 Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Birds home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search