An uncommon breeding resident of lagoons, tanks and marshes in low country dry zone. It usually lives as small flocks and feeds communally in shallow water on small aquatic animals such as tadpoles, dragonfly larva, etc and also some vegetable matters. It is more active at dusk and during the day time it spends resting either on an islet in a marsh or perch on a branch of a tree. The breeding season is from December to March and it nests in colonies in association with other large herons and egrets, on top of bushes or on a low branch of a tree near water in a lagoon or swamp. The nest is a pile of sticks where it lays 2-5 eggs.