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1 June 2016 Behavior of the Agami Heron (Agamia agami)
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Abstract

The biology and behavior of Agami Herons (Agamia agami) are not well known. This paper describes the species' foraging, nesting, plumage, soft-part coloration, courtship, and disturbance response studied during a 28-hour 8-day study period, 11–18 May 2015, in Costa Rica. Agami Herons forage by standing on perches and walking or wading slowly, capturing small prey using a slow neck extension followed by a grasp. Courtship emphasizes its spectacular, short-lived silver crest and other similarly distinctive plumage and soft-part features. Thirteen courtship behaviors described are used by both sexes. The female, rather than the male, retains intense red lores during pair formation. Only two nest change-overs and no chick feeding were observed, which, along with evidence of distant foraging, suggest a nesting strategy accommodating long intervals between chick provisioning. Agami Herons respond to disturbance with a rattling call and by walking away into vegetative cover. This observed sensitivity to disturbance reinforces a conservation strategy for the species emphasizing protection of regionally important nesting colonies and their foraging habitat.

James A. Kushlan and Kirsten Hines "Behavior of the Agami Heron (Agamia agami)," Waterbirds 39(2), (1 June 2016). https://doi.org/10.1675/063.039.0209
Received: 1 July 2015; Accepted: 1 December 2015; Published: 1 June 2016
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