Photo of the Day, “Under the African Sun”

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Under the African Sun

Photo Credit: Giovanni Mari

Luangwa Valley, Zambia

A Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) wades on top of a Hippopotamus head, under the African sun.  The Purple Heron is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, and southern and eastern Asia. The European populations are migratory, wintering in tropical Africa; the more northerly Asian populations also migrate further south within Asia.

The Purple Heron is a large bird, 31-35 (78–90 cm) in length with a standing height of up to 37 in (94 cm) and a 47-60 in (120–152 cm) wingspan.  However, it is slender for its size, weighing only 1.1-3 lbs (0.5–1.35 kg).  It is somewhat smaller than the Grey Heron, from which it can be distinguished by its darker reddish-brown plumage, and, in adults, darker grey back. It has a narrower yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults.

The Purple Heron breeds in colonies in reed beds or trees close to large lakes or other extensive wetlands.  It builds a bulky stick nest, and feeds in shallow water, spearing fish, frogs, insects and small mammals.  It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim.  It tends to keep within reedbeds more than the Grey Heron, and is often inconspicuous, despite its size.


To share your wildlife photos with the Bush Warriors community, go to our Photo of the Day Contest Facebook page and upload your shots today!  All you need to do is upload them onto the wall.  Please do not create new albums, but rather upload each photo on its own.  Click here to view ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be! 


The Bush Warriors Photo of The Day Contest is brought to you in partnership with Creative Visions Foundation.  Inspired by the life of Dan Eldon, a young Reuters photojournalist killed in Somalia in 1993, Creative Visions Foundation supports “Creative Activists” who use media and the arts to create positive change in the world.

Vote for your favorite photo each week.  The Bush Warriors Photo of The Week winner will go on to compete for the Bush Warriors Photo of the Month, and a chance to win a signed copy of Dan Eldon: Safari As a Way of Life of life.