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Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi

  • © Carroll Perkins

The largest of the South American Herons, the Cocoi Heron is a  gregarious heron of South America away from the high Andes,  from eastern Panama south to Central Argentina and Chile. While likely a resident in most of its range, a few vagrant records (notably Trinidad and the Falkland islands) suggest movements by at least some birds.  In many parts of its range, the Cocoi Heron is the most common and easy to see heron, as it forages in the open, and occupies a large range of habitats where there is water.  The Cocoi Heron can often be seen in along rivers, streams, marshes,  or even agricultural waterways as it forages for fish, frogs, and other similarly-sized animals by standing or walking slowly near or in shallow water.  The large size and long, all-white neck, a black cap make this bird distinctive throughout its range. Though young birds may appear similar to the closely related Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), they always show the distinctive dark cap that comes down below the eye.

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© Brian O'Shea

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: