The Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized nocturnal wetland bird from southern Europe to Africa.
The Black-Crowned Night Heron is plump, short-necked, and short-legged. It is white with a black crown (with two long white feathers), and black back. Its wings, rump, and tail are grey. Its eyes are large and red, with yellow-cream eye-rings. It has a large, grey beak, and pale-yellow legs and feet.
It grows to about 65 centimetres (25 inches) tall.
It feeds at night on fish, crabs, frogs, aquatic insects, and small mammals. It sits on the water’s edge to ambush its prey. During the day, it hides and rests in trees.
The Black-Crowned Night Heron nests alone, or in colonies, on platforms of sticks in trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. Females lay 3-8 eggs.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM