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Bird Details

Long Legged Waders Long Legged Waders

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

Black-crowned Night-Heron
copyright Robert Shantz
Length: 25 in. (67 cm)
With a range that covers most of the world, this peculiar heron is quite successful. It can be found in marshy areas, swamps, pond edges, lakes, mangroves, agricultural fields and moist grassy areas. It feeds on fish, mice, frogs, and salamanders, but it also frequently raids nests of other herons, ibis and terns to eat nestlings. Its own nest is a large, bulky affair constructed of twigs and sticks and placed in reeds, low trees or shrubs near the water's edge. Often the nests are built in small but loose colonies. Mainly active at dusk and night, most of the daylight hours are spent roosting quietly in a tree or in low aquatic vegetation. The four-digit banding code is BCNH.
black-crowned_night-heron_shore_175.jpg

Male
copyright Charles Kazilek

black-crowned_night-heron_flight_175.jpg

Male
copyright Charles Kazilek

Open water
Open water

Urban city
Urban city

Marsh / swamp
Marsh / swamp

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Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Song
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CR_BCNH_080804_S.jpg
Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Song

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.