Black-crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax


CLASS
Aves
ORDER
Ciconiiformes
FAMILY
Ardeidae

Range

Throughout the U.S. and all of South America, eastern Europe, Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia. Breeds on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.


Habitat

Various wetland habitats, including salt, brackish, and freshwater marshes, swamps, streams, lakes, and agricultural fields


Diet

Aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, lizards, snakes, rodents, and eggs

Weight

25.6 – 35.8 oz

Length

22.8 – 26 in

Wingspan

45.3 – 46.5 in

Incubation

24 to 26 days

Clutch

3 - 5 eggs

IUCN Status

Least Concern

Facts

  • This heron has a stocky, chunky body with short, strong legs and neck, and large red eyes.
  • It is most active at dusk and at night, feeding in the same areas that other heron species frequent during the day.
  • Herons will sometimes rapidly open and close the beak in the water to create a disturbance that attracts their prey.
  • Young black-crowned night herons often disgorge their stomach contents when disturbed.

 

Conservation

Most populations are stable. Because of its wide distribution and feeding habits, the black-crowned night heron is an excellent indicator of ecosystem health. These birds are sensitive to water-quality changes and wetlands destruction.

Least concern

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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