What is Black-crowned Night Heron?

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What is Black-crowned Night Heron? Blog Image


A ringed juvenile black-crowned night heron, which landed recently at a local pond in Imphal and died later, was banded at the Weishan Bird Banding Station in China’s Beijing.

About Black-crowned Night Heron

  • It is a medium-sized heron with a stocky build.
  • Scientific Name: Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Distribution: It is found across North America, as well as locally in Central America and the Caribbean.
  • Habitat: Most colonies of black-crowned night herons are associated with large wetlands. They inhabit a variety of wetland habitats, such as swamps, streams, rivers, marshes, mud flats, and the edges of lakes.
  • Features:
    • It has a stocky body with a comparatively short neck and legs.
    • It has a black crown, a gray body, and bright, red eyes. 
    • It weighs between 727 and 1014 grams, has a wingspan of 115 to 118 centimeters, and is 58 to 66 centimeters in length).
    • Females and males look alike, but females are a little smaller.
    • They are social at all times of the year, frequently associating with other species of herons.
    • It is a migrating species.
    • Diet: It is an opportunistic feeder. Its diet consists mainly of fish, though it is frequently rounded out by other items such as leeches, earthworms, aquatic and terrestrial insects.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Key Facts about Herons

  • These are any of about 60 species of long-legged wading birds.
  • These are classified in the family Ardeidae (order Ciconiiformes) and generally including several species usually called egrets.
  • The Ardeidae also include the bitterns (subfamily Botaurinae).
  • These are widely distributed over the world but are most common in the tropics.
  • They usually feed while wading quietly in the shallow waters of pools, marshes, and swamps, catching frogs, fishes, and other aquatic animals.
  • They nest in rough platforms of sticks constructed in bushes or trees near water; the nests usually are grouped in colonies called heronries.

Q1) What are wading birds?

Wading birds have physical and behavioral adaptations for living on or near water. While all animals need fresh drinking water, wading birds depend on water as a source of food, shelter, and nesting sites. The group includes cranes, herons, egrets, storks, spoonbills, and ibises.

Source: China Identifies Tagging Station Of Migratory Bird 'Heron' Found In Manipur