Common breeding resident supplemented by winter migrants. Mainly distributed in marshes and reed-beds bordering canals, tanks and rivers of wet zone. Also found in some areas of the dry zone lowlands and occasionally in hills. It feeds on fishes, frogs, crabs and certain water insects. Usually encountered as solitary birds or as pairs moving very slowly among waterside vegetations. Where It waits motionless and suddenly plunges and catch the prey. Though nocturnal and crepuscular it can be seen active even during the day time.