Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix

  • Order: Pelecaniformes
  • Family: Ardeidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Sam Dean


Conservation Status

The IUCN lists the Whistling Heron as a species of Least Concern due to a stable population (Birdlife International 2012).

Effects of human activity on populations

By utilizing man-altered habitats such as pastures, fields, and roadsides, the Whistling Heron stands to benefit from human interaction.

When pressed by humans, they seem reluctant to abandon their feeding sites (such as along roadways) (Kushlan and Hancock 2005). This could point to the Whisting Heron becoming a nuisance species in the future. For the present, they are not known to have any detrimental effects on humans.

Amerindians used its plumes as a means of bartering, but the extent of this practice was not believed to be enough to put significant pressure on heron numbers (Kushlan and Hancock 2005).

Recommended Citation

Dean, S. (2012). Whistling Heron (Syrigma sibilatrix), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.