Black-crowned Night Heron
Nyciticorax nycticorax

CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Ciconiiformes
FAMILY: Ardeidae

SIZE:
23 - 28 inches in length

RANGE:
Throughout the U.S. and all of South America, eastern Europe, Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia

HABITAT:
Marshes, shores; roosts in trees

DIET:
Wild - Frogs, fish, insects, tadpoles, young birds (especially other species of herons), small mammals
Zoo - Small fish, soaked dog food, bird of prey diet

DESCRIPTION:

  • Stocky, thick billed, short legged
  • Appears to hunch over when at rest
  • Blackish back and black cap; whitish under-parts and gray wings; eyes are red and legs are yellow
  • During breeding season legs turn pinkish and long white head plumes are evident

FACTS:

  • Active during the twilight hours and night
  • During breeding season they are active during the day as well

STATUS:
Not threatened; common to abundant; wide-ranging

REFERENCES:
"Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia," Vol. 7 Birds 1, Dr. Bernhard Grizmek

"Common Birds of Louisiana," Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.