Black-crowned Night-Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

Summary 3

The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), commonly abbreviated to just Night Heron in Eurasia, is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except in the coldest regions and Australasia (where it is replaced by the closely related Rufous Night Heron, with which it has hybridized in the area of contact).
These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night or early morning. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals, reptiles and small birds. During the day they rest in trees or bushes. N. n. hoactli is more gregarious outside the breeding season than the nominate race.

Black-crowned Night-Herons inhabit a variety of wetland habitats, whether flowing or standing, large or small, and freshwater or saltwater. In tropical areas, this species may be found in mangrove wetlands and lagoons. Black-crowned Night Herons primarily eat a number of plant and animal foods, including small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, reptiles, small mammals, and aquatic plant seeds and vegetation. Black-crowned Night-Herons may be best observed wading in shallow water, where they may be seen plunging their bills into the water to catch fish. It is also possible to see Black-crowned Night Herons at their nesting colonies, especially when they return to roost, or while flying with their feet extended and their necks pulled in. As its name suggests, this species hunts mainly from sunset to sunrise, although individuals may be seen during the morning and afternoon as well.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Shenghung Lin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), http://www.flickr.com/photos/40764207@N00/2993377549
  2. (c) Eric Kaufman, all rights reserved, uploaded by nataliemarisa, http://www.therebelheart.com/blog/2010/7/5/where-the-black-crowned-night-herons-go-during-the-day.html
  3. Adapted by nataliemarisa from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nycticorax_nycticorax

More Info

iNat Map

Endangered status least concern
Taxa aves