The White-faced Heron, (Egretta novaehollandiae, formerly Ardea novaehollandiae) often known incorrectly as the Grey Heron, is a common bird throughout most of Australasia, including New Guinea, the islands of Torres Strait, Indonesia, New Zealand, the islands of the sub-Antarctic, and all but the driest areas of Australia.
It is a relatively small heron, pale, slightly bluish-grey in color, with yellow legs and white facial markings. It can be found almost anywhere near shallow water, fresh or salt, and although it is prompt to depart the scene on long, slow-beating wings if disturbed, it will boldly raid suburban fish ponds.
Breeding takes place in the spring, mostly in southern Australia, and birds disperse for long distances at other times of year. The nest is an untidy shallow bowl, made of sticks and usually placed on a leafy branch. They are Protected in Australia under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974.