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I had the pleasure of meeting a purple heron while at Mangalajodi Wetlands. But the shy bird was not up for a meeting with humans and so as soon as it saw a boat gliding closer, it rose in flight. Or maybe it was bored of the place where it had been waiting to catch some dinner. Or perhaps it was time to go and check on its chicks. Your guess is as good as mine. But it gave me an excellent opportunity to observe a purple heron’s characteristic flight, rather slow, with its neck retracted, and legs extending a long way behind the tail.