Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus

  • Order: Pelecaniformes
  • Family: Ardeidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: F. E. Buderman

An attractive heron, if slightly odd in appearance, the Capped Heron is a resident of South American forested swamps, river courses and small pools.  Although it seems adaptable to any habitat with water and has a wide distribution, it usually occurs only at low densities.  Often seen flying along rivers or feeding in pools, the Capped Heron can be conspicuous, and easily is identified by its silvery white body plumage, black cap and striking blue face. In flight, it is best distinguished from other white herons by its small size and rapid, choppy flight style. The sole member of the genus Pilherodius, the Capped Heron is superficially simlar to the night-herons, but does not share their nocturnal feeding habits nor their distinctive juvenile plumage.


© Paul Donahue

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

Recommended Citation

Buderman, F. E. (2010). Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.