The varied diet of the Indian pond-heron includes small fish, frogs, crabs, other crustaceans, aquatic insects, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and baby turtles (2), and it may also consume substantial amounts of plant matter. It is a stealthy hunter, stalking its prey by walking slowly toward it or by standing still, awaiting the chance to ambush (2) (8), and it has also been recorded capturing its prey when in flight. The Indian pond-heron feeds during both the day and night, either alone or in small loose flocks (2).
The breeding season of the Indian pond-heron typically takes place from May to September, but falls between November and February in southern India and Sri Lanka (2). It usually breeds in small groups of the same species, but may sometimes be found breeding in groups with other heron species and cormorants (2). Individuals usually return to the same breeding colonies year after year, where they nest in trees between 2 and 16 metres above the ground (2). The females lay four eggs, which are incubated for a period of 24 days (2).