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.