Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

(Nycticorax nycticorax)

IMG_8904(adult Black Crown Night Heron in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur)

Size(58-60cm): It is a small Heron but according to its size it is quite heavy.

Area: All India till 2000m in Himalayas.

Habitat: They can adjust simply anywhere around water-marshes, lakes, ponds and small streams.

IMG_3518(immature Black Crowned Night Heron)

My two words: The male has a black crown and back and the rest of the body is white or grey. Their maybe a dark black streak present over the eye. They also have a long black crest. The iris is pure red. The males are slightly larger than the females.

The juvenile birds are grey-brown and are spotted with pale all over the body.

As the name suggests, they are nocturnal – more active during the night.

The nest is built on a stick and twig platform. They mostly nest in colonies. Eggs are 3-6 in number.

IMG_0143(immature near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh)

They hunt during night time or during early mornings. The hunting style is the usual Heron style – standstill till the prey comes in the striking range and then pounce on it. They are recorded to throw floating objects in water so as to distract and bring the fish close within reach.


They spend the day in trees and other shady places where they can hide and rest side by side.

IMG_0140(adult near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh)

They mostly feed on fish, frogs and some insects.

~Arjun Basandrai

3 responses to “Black Crowned Night Heron”

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